The SPACs get the bacon

Two of the three new trading jackets in Frankfurt have found a takeover target. So the shells are filling up now.

Always be confident: the bull, as a symbol of stock market optimism, attracts companies.

Noh the shell now comes the abundance: two of the three new brokerage companies listed in Frankfurt have found takeover candidates who should end up on the exchange list in this detour. The company 468 Capital is negotiating a takeover with the start-up Boxine via its SPAC, as both sides announce. According to the SPAC company, a market capitalization of around one billion euros is assumed for the provider of digital children’s toys.

The SPAC-Platz in Frankfurt is really getting going: since the beginning of the year, three SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have come to the local stock exchange – and two of them are already beginning to prove their right to exist. At the beginning of the month, the SPAC Lakestar of the investor Klaus Hommels announced a letter of intent to take over the German holiday home broker and Airbnb competitor HomeToGo. In the course of the SPAC renaissance in February, Lakestar was the first empty corporate shell in Frankfurt to hit the floor and collected 275 million euros.

Three Spacs: This is just the beginning

Behind 468 Capital is, among others, the former Rocket Internet director Alexander Kudlich. The third SPAC in Frankfurt is the OboTech vehicle from real estate entrepreneur Rolf Elgeti. Investment bankers predict even more newbies for the rest of the year. Sven Baumann, head of German investment banking at the American bank Citi, spoke of up to ten SPACs in April. Armin Heuberger, who leads the capital market business in Germany and Austria for the Swiss UBS, saw a “corridor of thirty to sixty” for the number in Europe and “ten to twenty” in Frankfurt.

The empty shells first collect capital on the stock exchange and then go looking for a company acquisition. The target company is then merged with the shell and listed on the stock exchange via the SPAC.

Internationally, according to calculations by the investment bank Goldman Sachs, there are currently 421 SPACs globally with a capital of 130 billion dollars on the hunt for takeovers. The revitalized fashion has spilled over here from the United States, and America continues to dominate the action – even if business there is ebbing as the SEC prepares to scrutinize the constructs more closely. According to data from the American investment bank JP Morgan, the number of newly listed US SPACs rose to 231 in 2020 compared to the previous year, more than four-fold. The first quarter of this year alone exceeded that, with 291, but April and May brought together only 28. “SPACs – huge sums of capital, but the situation has recently returned to normal”, summed up Tibor Kossa and in a presentation this week Christopher Droege, Co-Head of Merger and Acquisition Business for Goldman Sachs in Germany and Austria