Asia’s billionaires had only just started taking to blank-check companies, but now the SPAC boom is deflating on Wall Street.
After a frenzy of listings by special purpose acquisition companies – 326 have raised over $101 billion this year — the whole pipeline is now in limbo due to regulatory overhang, including a number of deals by Asian investment firms and tycoons.
Gateway Strategic Acquisition Co., backed by buyout firm Gaw Capital Advisors Ltd., Artisan Acquisition Corp., backed by New World Development Co.’s Adrian Cheng and Hony Capital Acquisition Corp. are some of the Asian SPACs that are waiting in the wings to list in the U.S.
They all filed over two weeks ago, meaning they can launch the initial public offering, but have yet to do so. But they are now waiting until market sentiment improves, according to people familiar with the matter, who are not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week put a dampener on the SPAC party by setting forth new guidance that warrants, which are issued to early investors in the deals, might not be considered equity instruments and may instead be liabilities for accounting purposes. That threatens to disrupt filings for blank-check companies until the issue is resolved.