- Vertex Tech, Pegasus Asia to file for SPAC IPOs
- Listings seen as key test for market appetite for SPACs
- Singapore to be first major Asian bourse to list SPACs
- Hong Kong also wooing SPAC candidates
SINGAPORE, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Two Singapore special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have opened their books for initial public offerings (IPOs) and are set to list in the city-state later this month, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
The IPOs, by Vertex Technology Acquisition Corp (VTAC) and Pegasus Asia, would mark the first SPAC listings on a major Asian bourse, and the first in the region since the frenzy for such blank-check firms started in the United States in 2020. Demand for U.S. SPACs has since fizzled out.
SPACs are shell corporations that list on stock exchanges and then merge with an existing company to take that firm public, aiming to offer shorter listing timeframes and strong valuations.
The listings come after Singapore Exchange rolled out a relaxed regulatory framework last year for such floats, aiming to boost a sagging market for IPOs. Fund-raising on the Singapore bourse slid to a six-year low of $565 million in 2021 from just eight listings, Refinitiv data showed.
Last month, Hong Kong’s stock exchange operator also said SPACs could list in Hong Kong from Jan. 1 after it tweaked its listing regime.
In the new listings, VTAC is backed by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings’ (TEM.UL) Vertex Venture Holdings.
Focused on cyber security, fintech and other sectors, VTAC said on Thursday it aimed to raise at least about S$170 million ($125 million) by selling units at S$5 apiece, without specifying a date.
VTAC is looking to list on Jan. 21, subject to regulatory approvals, one of the sources told Reuters.
The offer of 34 million units comprises 22 million units being offered to 13 cornerstone investors.
The second SPAC, Pegasus Asia, backed by European asset manager Tikehau Capital (TKOO.PA), that also filed its prospectus on Thursday, is set to list in Singapore on Jan. 25, the second source said.
Pegasus Asia is looking to raise at least S$150 million and invest in technology-enabled sectors including the fintech sector. The SPAC’s sponsors include Financiere Agache, the holding company of LVMH luxury goods chief Bernard Arnault.
The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to media.
There was no immediate response to a query sent to Tikehau outside European office hours. Vertex Venture declined to comment.
Credit Suisse, DBS and Morgan Stanley are joint global coordinators and joint underwriters for VTAC’s issue, while Citigroup and UBS are leading Pegasus’ offering.