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A majority of shareholders have to agree it’s a good deal, but Klymochko said he’s never seen a deal get voted down. This was more than four times the $3.5 billion they raised in 2016. Interest in SPACs increased in 2020 and 2021, with as much as $83.4 billion raised in 2020 and $162.5 billion in 2021. Get more from a personalized relationship with a dedicated banker to help you manage your everyday banking needs and a J.P. Morgan Private Client Advisor who will help develop a personalized investment strategy to meet your evolving needs.

If the SPAC is unable to make a deal within the predetermined time frame, the SPAC is liquidated. The company’s cash is held in short-term Treasuries until then, so the initial investment will be safe, but the company’s shares might drop under the IPO price in the course of normal market volatility. A SPAC is formed by a management team, typically known as a sponsor, that often has a business background, usually with a specific skillset in a niche industry.

An important distinction to note here is the different valuation approaches with SPACs and IPOs. A SPAC used to combine the right to vote (i.e., accept or reject a potential acquisition) with the ability to redeem shares. That is, if you voted to reject a deal, you would redeem your shares. Regulators decoupled those rights (i.e., investors could vote yes or no against a deal and still redeem their shares). In effect, this change has led to most proposed deals going through as planned by the SPAC management.

  1. SPAC management may take a seat or two on the board or get involved in management to help guide the going-forward company and look out for the interests of public shareholders.
  2. Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments.
  3. Before the frenzy, teams would have to chase down private companies and explain to them why it made sense to go public through a SPAC.
  4. They initially pony up a nominal amount of investor capital – usually as little as $25,000 – for which they will receive “founder shares” that often equate to a 20% interest in the SPAC.

Subsequent to the IPO, a SPAC may raise additional capital via a PIPE (private investment in public equity) and/or debt financing. For their investment, investors usually receive SPAC shares plus warrants. A warrant provides an investor with the right to buy additional shares at a later date at a fixed price. A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company, also frequently called a blank check company.

#2: Mind the Price, But Not the Market Cap

This is called a “SPAC-up.” If there’s no SPAC-up, it’s not a good deal. Once the deal terms and pipe financing are in place, the SPAC publicly announces the merger and pulls in public relations representatives to help market the deal through press releases, podcasts, and elsewhere, Klymochko said. For a team targeting the creation of a $200 million SPAC, they’ll need about $7.5 million in risk capital. Here’s a breakdown of the math, according to Graf and Harvard Law. Many celebrities, including entertainers and professional athletes, became so heavily invested in SPACs that the SEC issued an Investor Alert in March 2021, cautioning investors not to make investment decisions based solely on celebrity involvement. As many as 70% of SPACs that had their IPO in 2021 were trading below their $10 offer price by the end of that year, according to a Renaissance Capital strategist.

What changed with SPACs?

In the $200 million SPAC example, if a private company wants $600 million at closing, then the SPAC will find big chunks of institutional investors to commit to making up the difference once the deal is completed. Once the SPAC management team has its treasure trove of cash, it can start hunting for deals, and it has a limited time to do so. The money raised from the IPO goes directly into an untouchable trust, where it accrues interest until the SPAC finds a private company and uses the funds to merge with that company. “Just like the ‘promote’ incentivizes the sponsor to create SPACs and find deals, the warrants are a way to entice public market investors to invest in the SPAC IPOs,” said Cameron Stanfill, a venture analyst at PitchBook Data.

Why are SPACs suddenly popular?

A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a type of investment vehicle that is created with the purpose of raising capital through an initial public offering (IPO) to acquire a private company. SPACs are sometimes called “blank check companies” because they are formed without a specific acquisition target in mind. Also, an investor’s percentage ownership may be diluted by subsequent fund-raising efforts as well as if other investors exercise their warrants. Both groups of investors—those who hold their shares and those who redeem their shares—have to accept the opportunity cost of invested cash being locked up for quite some time (e.g., up to 24 months). Many original investors do so for the warrants, which the investor retains even if they redeem their share interest. Some studies have found that, for a large majority of SPACs, post-merger share prices decrease.

“It gives people exposure to the growing SPAC space in lieu of betting on one deal because not every one of them is going to be a winner,” Jablonski says. With large institutional investors and other billionaire backers launching SPACs left and right, the trend is unlikely to disappear overnight. SPACs have been around for decades and often existed as last resorts for small companies that would have otherwise had trouble raising money on the open market. But they’ve recently become more prevalent because of the extreme market volatility caused, in part, by the global pandemic.

Once a deal has been announced, the premium can swell even further. Shares no longer represent just a shell company, but a more concrete opportunity vr programming: top 10 coding languages you must know that might very well generate large profits down the road. As we mentioned earlier, blank-check companies typically go public at $10 per share.

Consider a SPAC ETF Instead

Why the buzz around special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs)? Here’s everything you need to know about these “blank-check” firms. NerdWallet, Inc. is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. Its articles, interactive tools and other content are provided to you for free, as self-help tools and for informational purposes only.

As with all investments, depending on the specific details of a SPAC investment, there will be different levels of risk. A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company without commercial operations and is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company. SPACs are publicly traded corporations formed with the sole purpose of effecting a merger with a privately held business to enable it to go public.

And they’re still attracting plenty of investor interest, even after some of the early-year’s froth wore off. Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more – straight to your e-mail. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.