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The Latest SPAC News and Rumors: May 19th, 2021


The Latest SPAC News and Rumors: May 19th, 2021

Below is a daily summary of links to the latest SPAC news and rumors gathered across the web.

U.S. hedge funds loaded up on SPACs during the first quarter, but now the SPAC boom is moving across the pond as FCA looks to relax listing rules


As the U.S. SPAC Boom Cools, Europe’s is Just Heating Up

According to PitchBook, Europe has lagged behind the US in 2021 with only 17 listings worth €2.2 billion, but SPAC activity is increasing on the area, up from 12 deals last year and just one the year prior. This year has also seen larger SPACs being launched in Europe, such as Tikehau Capital-backed Pegasus Europe, which raised €500 million in April, and 468 Capital‘s €300 million vehicle launched last month as well.

The Netherlands has established an early lead in becoming Europe’s go-to SPAC market. Last week, British fund manager Hedosophia raised €460 million through the listing of a blank-check company, Hedosophia European growth, in Amsterdam.


FCA Looks to Relax Listing Rules, Says SPACs to Stay “Relatively Minor” Part of UK Market

As the explosion of SPACs move across the pond, European exchanges look to gain a competitive edge on rivals. SPACs are likely to remain a “relatively minor part of the overall listed market”, the Financial Conduct Authority’s director of market oversight, Clare Cole, told Financial News.

Europe appears to have a much smaller scene with just 21 deals worth around $6 billion. The UK regulator estimated that there are 33 SPACs listed in the UK. Of the roughly 20 SPACs with live listings, only two have a size exceeding £100m in market capitalization, and two thirds are worth around £5m or less.


Rocket Lab Electron Rocket Carrying Two BlackSky Satellites Exploded and Destroyed in Launch

BlackSky, which is in the process of merging with Osprey Technology Acquisition, had two of its satellites destroyed during a failed launch with Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.

Rocket Lab also said that the failure and investigation would not affect its plans to merge with Vector Acquisition Corporation, according to SpaceNews.


Koch Industries Accelerates Shift to Tech and Loads Up on SPACs

Recent regulatory filings show that Spring Creek Capital, the asset management arm of Koch Investments Group, emerged as a significant player in the SPAC frenzy, investing in more than 250 deals sponsored by notable firms such as Apollo Global Management, Fortress, and TPG.  The portfolio included more than $750 million of SPAC-related investments at the end of March.


SPACs Were Popular Investments for Large U.S. Hedge Funds During the First Quarter

A number of well-known U.S. hedge funds bought value stocks and SPACs, selling some winners from the technology-led stock rally as bond yields rose during the first quarter, 13F filings released on Monday showed.  Funds such as Third Point and Saschem Head added shares of SPACs, including FinTech Acquisition Corp V and healthcare company Orion Acquisition Corp (OHPA.O) to their portfolios, according to Reuters. Tiger Global added shares of Revolution Healthcare Acquisition Corp and Soaring Eagle Acquistion Corp while activist investor Starboard Value invested in Montes Archimedes Acquisition Corp, Altimar Acquisition Corp, Churchill Capital Corp II and Forest Road Acquisition Corp.


Space Startup Astra Signs First Commercial Launch Contract

Billionaire-backed space transport startup Astra, which aims to go public via Holicity Inc. (NASDAQ:HOL) before July in a $2.1 billion deal, has signed its first commercial launch contract with private imaging firm Planet, CEO Chris Kemp told Reuters. Kemp declined to disclose the value of the multiple-launch deal, but said Astra, which also has at least one government launch contract, has secured launch services revenue of approximately $150 million thus far.


SPAC Selloff Bruises Individual Investors

The Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF, which tracks companies that have gone public through SPACs along with SPACs that have yet to do any deals, has fallen about 30% in the past three months and recently hit a six-month low, according to the WSJ.  One reason for such volatility, even for insiders, is that many investors have used options and warrants to amplify their SPAC wagers.