July was the first month in five years that no new SPACs raised money. A few have come to market so far in August, but still at a fraction of last year’s record pace.
So, what sayeth SPAC King Chamath Palihapitiya of those doleful milestone? Well, uh, not much, which is also what he has to say about two of his own remaining unbetrothed blank checks, whose kicking the can into next year merited nary a tweet, only a couple of routine securities filings.
If those euphoric moments two years ago represented the peak of SPAC frenzy -- a phenomenon created out of the same ingredients (unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus) that gave us meme stocks and Dogecoin millionaires -- then these SEC filings represented something of an unofficial end to this chapter of financial mania.
One of the two blank-check companies is Palihapitiya’s biggest ever, a $1.15 billion behemoth, and pushing back its October deadline -- to some unspecified time next year -- is a major setback. Inking a deal will likely be no easier in 2023, assuming that investors in the SPAC even opt to stick around.
And as for those deals he did manage to consummate, well, the picture’s not much prettier.
All five of his SPACs that merged with acquisition targets are now trading well below their starting price of $10…. Two SPACs backed by Palihapitiya and his partner Suvretta Capital have managed carry on business in recent months. ProKidney Corp., a medical technology company, debuted in the market last month. Its shares have sunk more than 20%, though, in just a matter of weeks and more than 90% of investors opted to redeem their shares for cash.
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