After watching from the sidelines as a boom in the listing of special purpose acquisition companies SPACs reshaped U.S. capital markets, Europe is preparing to play catch up next year with around 10 such deals said to already be in the pipeline.
SPACs are shell companies that use the proceeds from going public to buy another company, not yet identified at the time of listing. The resulting merger with a target company, often a startup in a highgrowth sector, offers it a faster and lower cost way to market than a traditional initial public offering IPO.
Boosting the profile of a previously niche product, notable U.S. deals this year have included Aprils merger between online sports betting company DraftKings and Diamond Eagle Acquisition, and Junes merger between electric truck maker Nikola and VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.
While 63 billion has been raised through 190 SPAC listings in the United States this year, according to Refinitiv data, by investors including Bill Ackman and Michael Klein, it has been slim pickings in Europe. Small cash shells priced in London and Amsterdam but the only attempt at a major deal Martin Franklins 750 million The Harvester Holdings was cancelled due to a lack of demand.
There was a glimmer of hope this week though when French telecoms magnate Xavier Niel and banker Matthieu Pigasse said they were looking to raise at least 250 million euros 299.65 million via a SPAC that will scour for sustainable and organic food companies that source…