5 things you need to know about…SPACS

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.

Competitive mobile game maker Skillz will do a quick IPO at $3.5 billion valuation

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.