Big news in SPAC Land….Morgan Stanley has decided to jump into the SPAC underwriting pool with both feet by hiring Bennett Schachter away from Goldman Sachs. That’s quite a splash. Morgan Stanley has, until now, sort of tip-toed around SPACs having only been an underwriter on three deals since 2009 (Hunter Maritime, Leisure and Boxwood). You always got the sense that they were never fully committed to their SPAC program. Well that’s changed now.
Bennett Schachter had been Goldman Sach’s head SPAC banker, getting Goldman involved in a number of high profile transactions. Most recently, Goldman was the left lead underwriter on the $305.6 million Acamar Partners Acquisition Corp. IPO. By hiring Bennett away from Goldman, Morgan Stanley just signaled that they are very serious about committing to SPACs going forward.
SPACs just got a whole lot more competitive (As if they weren’t already).