Special Purpose Acquisition Companies
This page provides a list of publicly traded Special Purpose Acquisition stocks. A Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), also known as "blank check company," is a company with no commercial operations. It is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of buying an existing company.
At the time of their IPOs, SPACs have no existing business operations or even stated targets for acquisition. Investors in SPACs can range from well-known private equity funds to the general public.
How a SPAC Works
SPACs are generally formed by investors, or sponsors, with expertise in a particular industry or business sector, with the intention of pursuing deals in that area.
In creating a SPAC, the founders sometimes have at least one acquisition target in mind, but they don't identify that target to avoid extensive disclosures during the IPO process. (This is why they are called "blank check companies." IPO investors have no idea what company they ultimately will be investing in.)
SPACs seek underwriters and institutional investors before offering shares to the public. The money SPACs raise in an IPO is placed in an interest-bearing trust account. These funds cannot be disbursed except to complete an acquisition or to return the money to investors if the SPAC is liquidated.
A SPAC generally has two years to complete a deal or face liquidation. In some cases, some of the interest earned from the trust can be used as the SPAC's working capital. After an acquisition, a SPAC is usually listed on one of the major stock exchanges.
Advantages of a SPAC
Selling to a SPAC can be an attractive option for the owners of a smaller company, which are often private equity funds.
First, selling to a SPAC can add up to 20% to the sale price compared to a typical private equity deal. Being acquired by a SPAC can also offer business owners what is essentially a faster IPO process under the guidance of an experienced partner, with less worry about the swings in broader market sentiment.
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