On April 12, 2021, the Acting Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, John Coates, and Acting Chief Accountant of the SEC, Paul Munter, released a statement on accounting and reporting considerations for warrants issued by SPACs.
After more than a decade of buildup, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have exploded and are gaining momentum in the US and beyond.
SPACs (special purpose acquisition or “blank cheque” companies) have recently regained prominence in the US, with H1 2020 seeing record-breaking levels of activity, both in terms of value (Bill Ackman’s $4bn Pershing Square Tontine is the largest SPAC IPO to date, eclipsing previous records) and volume (SPACs accounted for around 30% of all US IPOs in H1 2020). One of the reasons for the revived interest is that experienced founder teams can benefit from a dislocated market to find good opportunities that yield attractive returns.
Skillz is going public this fall on the New York Stock Exchange through a special public acquisition company (SPAC). This has become a popular way for fast-moving companies to go public without all the hassle of a traditional IPO. SPACs are set up by managers who raise money in a blind shell company, and the investors don’t know what they’re putting their money into.
What do former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, one-time Trump chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Oakland A’s executive vice president Billy Beane have in common?