Although special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have been used for decades as alternative investment vehicles, they have recently come into vogue as seasoned investors and management teams have turned to SPACs to mitigate the increased market volatility risk of traditional initial public offerings (IPOs). In fact, 2020 has been a record-breaking year for SPAC IPOs; the proceeds raised in the first eight months of the year have already more than doubled those raised in 2019. This surge has primarily been driven by an influx of high-profile investors and management teams entering the SPAC space, coupled with an abundance of uninvested capital that had largely been sitting out in the first half of 2020. However, SPAC transactions come with their own set of unique challenges, and it is essential for private companies that may be acquired in such transactions (potential “targets”) to have (1) an understanding of the risks associated with these investment vehicles and (2) a comprehensive project management plan to meet the demands of an accelerated merger timeline.

Themes of this publication:
  • Background — A brief look into the past and present of SPACs, including this year’s record-breaking pace.
  • Rise in SPAC Use — An examination of the conditions and trends driving the momentum of SPACs in 2020.
  • Benefits and Downsides of a SPAC — An overview of the potential advantages and disadvantages of a SPAC transaction.
  • Life Cycle of a SPAC — An overview of the life cycle of a SPAC, from inception through the consummation of a merger.
  • Managing Ongoing Operations — A survey of the core competencies that should be examined and elevated after a target company is acquired.

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