The London Stock Exchange boasts that 30 spacs have been listed in London in the past 5 years. More than $2bn has been raised since 2017. But British backers are nursing the scars from a long line of blank cheque duds.
Cash shells and Spacs sound innocuous enough. Blind pools less so. Call them what you will. They are all the rage, at least in the US where an exchange traded fund is being launched to invest in these special purpose acquisition companies. That must mark a high water level for spacs. So far this year, tens of billions have been raised stateside by shells that have no assets and are designed to circumvent the arduous disclosure hurdles that go with a bog-standard initial public offering. All a Spac needs is a big-name entrepreneur or financier to back it and a hot topic to pique investors’ interest — autotech, agtech, meditech or fintech works. Raise the money, list the company and find a target later.