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‘SPACs Attack’ Recap: Looking Back At 5 SPAC Deals, Rumors And Top Headlines



The week kicked off with a large SPAC deal announced on Sunday, bringing a new global sports betting and online casino company public. Several other SPAC deals were announced throughout the week along with a couple rumors that could be worth a watch this week. Benzinga’s “SPACs Attack” covered the deals and news of the week.

Here is a look back at the announced deals, rumors and some top headlines.

SPAC Deals

On Sunday, online sports betting and gaming company Super Group Holding, the owner of Betway and Spin, announced a SPAC deal with Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp SEAH 1.17% valuing the company at $4.75 billion. Super Group is licensed in 23 jurisdictions with plans to use its scale and technology to expand into additional territories. In the 12-month period ending March 2021, Super Group had over $42 billion of wagers and 2.5 million monthly unique active customers.

The company plans to expand the Betway brand in the United States. Super Group entered into an agreement with Digital Gaming Corporation for the rights to 10 US states. Betway has over 60 brand partnerships including the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers.

Super Group had net gaming revenue of $1.1 billion in 2020 and EBITDA of $259 million. The company is estimating revenue to be $1.6 billion in fiscal 2021 and $1.8 billion in fiscal 2022.

Clarus Therapeutics announced a SPAC deal with Blue Water Acquisition Corp BLUW 0.5% valuing the company at $379 million. The pharmaceutical company develops metabolic therapies for men and women. Clarus said the acquisition will help accelerate the commercialization of JATENZO, a oral testosterone replacement therapy. Going public will also help the company fund additional items in its pipeline.

Enjoy Technology announced a $1.2 billion SPAC merger with Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp MRAC 0.2%. Enjoy has multi-year commercial relationships with customers including AT&T T 0.26% in the United States, BT Group in the United Kingdom, Rogers Communication RCI 0.92% in Canada and select Apple Inc AAPL 1.51% stores in the United States. Enjoy is led by founder and CEO Ron Johnson, who helped develop Apple’s retail stores and transform an omnichannel approach for Target TGT 0.2%.

The company says it has an edge on reaching customers in their homes that e-commerce brands cannot deliver.

End-to-end digital manufacturing company Shapeways announced a SPAC merger with Galileo Acquisition Corp GLEO 0.49% valuing the company at $410 million. Desktop Metal DM 6.05% invested in the PIPE on the deal and has a partnership with Shapeways. Targeting industries like medical, industrial, automotive and aerospace, Shapeways has 11 technologies for 90 materials.

The company has delivered over 21 million parts to 1 million customers in 160 countries. Fiscal 2020 revenue for Shapeways was $32 million. Estimates from the company call for revenue to hit $44 million in fiscal 2021 and $86 million in fiscal 2022. The company estimates revenue of $400 million in fiscal 2025 with less than 1% of the total addressable market.

Next-gen hospitality company Sonder announced a SPAC deal with Gores Metropoulos II GMII 0.4% valuing the company at $2.2 billion. Sonder operates more than 300 properties across 35 markets in eight countries. The company works with property owners to offer rentals to customers on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Sonder had revenue of $116 million in fiscal 2020. The company estimates revenue to hit $173 million in 2021 and hit $4 billion by the year 2025 led by a travel market recovery worldwide.

SPAC Rumors

Self-driving truck company Plus is in talks to merge with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp V HCIC 1.41%, according to Bloomberg.

Financial media company Forbes is exploring a SPAC deal, Reuters reports. The company could also be sold in a bidding process that has attracted several companies. Forbes reaches an estimated audience of 140 million people with its digital platform.

Israeli cleantech company Tipa is considering a SPAC deal to go public. Calcalist reports the deal could value the company that develops compostable flexible packaging at $500 million.

Headline News

Shares of Skillz SKLZ 2.34% started the week off strong with a defensive call coming from Ark Funds, which owns shares of the former SPAC. Skillz has been the target of several short reports. Ark is not bothered by the claims and believes the NFL partnership is a major catalyst for the company.

Luminar Technologies LAZR 7.48% announced a partnership with Airbus to test technologies for autonomous flight and obstacle detection. The two companies will work together on aircraft sensing and perception.

Landry’s CEO Tilman Fertitta said his restaurant group, which is merging with Fast Acquisition Corp FST 0.08%, will accept Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The CEO said 80% to 90% of the restaurants will accept cryptocurrency in the next 90 days.

Latch, which is merging with TS Innovation Acquisition Corp TSIA 0.1%, announced preliminary first quarter revenue. The company sees first quarter revenue growing 135% to 140% and bookings to be up 86% to 88% year-over-year.

The merger between Star Peak Energy Transition Corp STPK 0.11% and Stem was approved. Shares of the newly merged company now trade as ticker STEM.

The launch of Ultium Charge 360 by General Motors Company GM 0.94% saw the automotive giant partner with seven charging network companies. Among the partners are ChargePoint Holdings CHPT 1.44% and EVgo, which is going public with Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition CLII 0.69%.

Apex Clearing announced first quarter net revenue growth of 98% year-over-year. The company saw customer accounts grow 85% year-over-year in the first quarter, hitting more than 14.4 million. The company is merging with Northern Star Investment Corp II NSTB.

Source: Benzinga – ‘SPACs Attack’ Recap: Looking Back At 5 SPAC Deals, Rumors And Top Headlines

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SPACs: Singapore Exchange (SGX) Introduces Updated SPAC Listing Guidelines



Singapore Exchange (SGX) recently revealed that they’ve created updated rules that will allow Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) to list on its Mainboard “effective 3 September 2021.”

Tan Boon Gin, CEO of Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), noted that SGX’s SPAC framework should give firms an alternative capital fundraising option with more certainty on both price and execution.

Tan added that they want the SPAC process to “result in good target companies listed on SGX, providing investors with more choice and opportunities.” Tan also mentioned that “to achieve this, you can expect us to focus on the sponsors’ quality and track record.” Tan further noted that they have “introduced requirements that increase sponsors’ skin in the game and their alignment with shareholders’ interest.”

An SGX listing under the SPAC framework “must have” the following features:

  • Minimum market capitalisation “of S$150 million”
  • De-SPAC must take place “within 24 months of IPO with an extension of up to 12 months subject to fulfilment of prescribed conditions”
  • Moratorium on Sponsors’ shares from IPO to de-SPAC, “a 6-month moratorium after de-SPAC and for applicable resulting issuers, a further 6-month moratorium thereafter on 50% of shareholdings.”
  • Sponsors must subscribe to “at least 2.5% to 3.5% of the IPO shares/units/warrants depending on the market capitalisation of the SPAC”
  • De-SPAC can proceed “if more than 50% of independent directors approve the transaction and more than 50% of shareholders vote in support of the transaction”
  • Warrants issued to shareholders “will be detachable and maximum percentage dilution to shareholders arising from the conversion of warrants issued at IPO is capped at 50%”
  • All independent shareholders are “entitled to redemption rights”
  • Sponsor’s promote “limit of up to 20% of issued shares at IPO”

More than 80 respondents offered feedback, which is perhaps the highest response rate to an SGX consultation “in recent times,” the announcement revealed. It also noted that respondents included financial institutions, investment banks, private equity and venture capital funds, corporate finance firms, private investors, lawyers, auditors and stakeholder associations “whose views have been carefully considered in arriving at the framework.”

As confirmed in the announcement, SGX will continue to work cooperatively with the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) in order to “increase retail investors’ understanding of SPACs through collaborative efforts including the conduct of educational programs.”

SGX will “separately partner Singapore Institute of Directors to educate future directors of SPACs on the responsibilities and duties expected of them,” the update noted.

SGX’s responses to the feedback received and the updated rules may be accessed here.

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Lucid Motors kicks off market debut with EV factory expansion plans



Lucid Group (formerly Lucid Motors) will be expanding its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, by 2.7 million square feet, CEO Pete Rawlinson said Monday just hours after the company officially went public with a $4.5 billion injection of capital.

The company also said it has 11,000 paid reservations for its flagship luxury electric sedan, the Lucid Air.

Part of the expansion will be used to accommodate the manufacturing of Project Gravity, the mysterious title given to the automaker’s forthcoming luxury electric SUV, a Lucid spokesman told TechCrunch. Not much is known about Gravity at this point, other than that it’s scheduled to be available from 2023 and that it will use the same battery platform as the Air. Patent drawings submitted to the European Union Intellectual Property Office, first noticed by a member of the Lucid Forum, reveal little more than the renderings on Lucid’s website.

The company is also planning on bringing more of the component production in-house, including major pieces such as the body panel stampings, the spokesman added. These parts were being handled by an external supplier.

The Casa Grande City Council approved the plans to expand the nearly 1 million-square-foot space in March. The first phase of the factory, which cost around $700 million to construct, went up in a record 12 months after breaking ground. Lucid has said that it wants to expand production capacity from around 30,000 vehicles per year to up to 400,000.

Lucid has had a long, sometimes tenuous road to the public market. The company first set its sights on bringing an electric sedan to production as early as 2018, but it quickly hit funding challenges that pushed this timeline further and further back. Lucid received major funding in 2018 with a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which continued to be its largest shareholder throughout Lucid’s merger with special purpose acquisition company Churchill Capital IV Corp.

That merger hit a bit of a hiccup last week when the company failed to garner a sufficient number of votes on a key proposal — likely due to the rise of retail traders and malfunctioning spam filters, executives said in an investor call.

Lucid, which will now operate under the name Lucid Group, is listed under the ticker symbol LCID.

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ServiceMax promises accelerating growth as key to $1.4B SPAC deal



ServiceMax, a company that builds software for the field-service industry, announced yesterday that it will go public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in a deal valued at $1.4 billion. The transaction comes after ServiceMax was sold to GE for $915 million in 2016, before being spun out in late 2018. The company most recently raised $80 million from Salesforce Ventures, a key partner.

Broadly, ServiceMax’s business has a history of modest growth and cash consumption.

ServiceMax competes in the growing field-service industry primarily with ServiceNow, and interestingly enough given Salesforce Ventures’ recent investment, Salesforce Service Cloud. Other large enterprise vendors like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle also have similar products. The market looks at helping digitize traditional field service, but also touches on in-house service like IT and HR giving it a broader market in which to play.

GE originally bought the company as part of a growing industrial Internet of Things (IoT) strategy at the time, hoping to have a software service that could work hand in glove with the automated machine maintenance it was looking to implement. When that strategy failed to materialize, the company spun out ServiceMax and until now it remained part of Silver Lake Partners thanks to a deal that was finalized in 2019.

TechCrunch was curious why that was the case, so we dug into the company’s investor presentation for more hints about its financial performance. Broadly, ServiceMax’s business has a history of modest growth and cash consumption. It promises a big change to that storyline, though. Here’s how.

A look at the data

The company’s pitch to investors is that with new capital it can accelerate its growth rate and begin to generate free cash flow. To get there, the company will pursue organic (in-house) and inorganic (acquisition-based) growth. The company’s blank-check combination will provide what the company described as “$335 million of gross proceeds,” a hefty sum for the company compared to its most recent funding round.

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Private Equity

Investors find European unicorns reluctant to join SPAC boom



The U.S. SPAC market kept rolling along this week with news that Satellogic will go public on the Nasdaq stock exchange thanks to a merger with a blank check company. The Earth-imagery-focused company is standard SPAC fare, with strong capital needs and distant revenues. It was not alone in pursuing the transaction type Tuesday, with news breaking that Nextdoor will also go public on the Nasdaq via a SPAC.

Nextdoor’s projections, as TechCrunch noted, were more modest and thus more believable than what we’ve seen from many other SPAC-led debuts.

These companies represent the two poles of blank-check-powered public offerings: Some startups taking the SPAC route are more speculative, banking on revenues to come, while others feature more established companies with a history of material revenue growth. It’s easy to find more examples of both varieties. Acorns’ deal fits the established trend. Lidar SPACs? Less so.

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Given the breadth of companies pursuing blank-check deals, the SPAC boom isn’t over even if there has been chatter that the party is breaking up. Bessemer partner Mary D’Onofrio told The Exchange, for example, that while the “pace of SPAC IPOs” and combinations have slowed, “there is still $128 billion of SPAC dry powder in the market seeking acquisitions and incentivized to transact.”

Matt Murphy, a partner at Menlo Ventures, helped explain the SPAC pace deceleration that D’Onofrio discussed, telling The Exchange that the pace of SPAC deals “has slowed as they’ve gotten more scrutiny and don’t seem quite as ‘easy’ as they once were.”

But this week’s U.S. SPAC news tells us that blank-check companies are still finding a diverse set of companies to take public. But what about other regions? Unicorns are hardly unique to the U.S. startup ecosystem. Are we seeing similar SPAC interest in Europe?

The Exchange tried to find out, given that we’ve seen huge rounds from the region and a few IPOs over various types. Is the SPAC game afoot in Europe?

Hunting European targets

There’s a huge number of SPACs trading in the United States currently hunting for a deal. And there is historical precedent for U.S.-listed blank-check companies taking on European targets. Global law firm Skadden counts 16 U.S. SPAC-led transactions with European companies from 2015 through February of this year, for example.

“For the past few weeks, we’ve been approached on a recurring basis, much like all known French and European scaleups,” Aircall’s co-founder Jonathan Anguelov told French financial newspaper Les Échos last March (translation: TechCrunch). However, being approached doesn’t necessarily mean that European unicorns are entertaining the offers.

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