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The SPAC Lifecycle in Singapore

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) have become a prominent feature in global financial markets, offering an alternative route for companies to go public. Singapore has embraced this trend and established itself as a hub for SPAC activities in Asia. 

 

In this article, we discuss the lifecycle of a SPAC in Singapore, from its formation to its eventual business combination, and highlight key aspects and considerations at each stage.

Formation and Initial Public Offering (IPO)

The SPAC lifecycle begins with its formation and initial public offering (IPO). This phase is critical as it sets the foundation for subsequent activities, establishing the SPAC’s credibility and operational framework. 

 

During this stage, sponsors with industry expertise and a solid track record come together to create the SPAC, laying out a clear business strategy and objectives. 

 

The successful execution of the IPO not only provides the necessary capital for future acquisitions but also signals market confidence in the SPAC’s management team and their vision, making it an important starting point for the entire lifecycle.

Formation

A SPAC is formed by a group of sponsors, typically experienced executives or investors with a specific sector focus. In Singapore, these sponsors incorporate the SPAC as a shell company with no operational business. The primary objective is to raise capital through an IPO to later acquire a private company.

Initial Public Offering (IPO)

Following incorporation, the SPAC proceeds to its IPO. The sponsors file a registration statement with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), outlining the SPAC’s structure, management team, and intended focus for potential acquisitions. 

 

The IPO involves issuing units, each comprising a share and a fraction of a warrant, to public investors. The funds raised are held in a trust account, awaiting the identification of a suitable acquisition target.

Target Identification and Due Diligence

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Once the SPAC has successfully raised capital through its IPO, the focus shifts to identifying and evaluating potential acquisition targets. This phase requires meticulous due diligence and strategic planning.

Target Identification

The SPAC’s management team leverages its industry expertise and network to identify viable private companies for acquisition. 

 

In Singapore, the target company typically aligns with sectors experiencing strong growth, such as technology, healthcare, or green energy. The objective is to find a business that can benefit from a public listing and deliver substantial value to shareholders.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is a comprehensive evaluation of the target company’s financials, operations, legal standing, and market potential. The SPAC’s sponsors, often in collaboration with an audit firm in Singapore, conduct thorough assessments to ensure the target’s viability and growth prospects. 

 

This process involves scrutinizing financial statements, contracts, regulatory compliance, and potential risks.

Negotiation and Merger Agreement

Upon identifying a suitable target, the SPAC engages in negotiations to finalize the terms of the acquisition. This phase culminates in a merger agreement, outlining the transaction details and integration plans.

Negotiation

Negotiating the terms of the acquisition requires careful consideration of various factors, including valuation, equity structure, and management roles post-merger. Both parties aim to reach an agreement that reflects the target’s value and aligns with the SPAC’s objectives

 

The negotiation process may involve multiple rounds of discussions and adjustments to the initial terms.

Merger Agreement

The merger agreement formalizes the acquisition, detailing the transaction structure, consideration to be paid, and any conditions precedent to closing. This document is important as it governs the rights and obligations of both parties throughout the merger process. 

 

In Singapore, regulatory approvals from authorities such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) may be required before finalizing the merger.

Shareholder Approval and De-SPAC Process

With the merger agreement in place, the SPAC proceeds to seek shareholder approval and execute the de-SPAC process. This phase transitions the SPAC from a shell company to a publicly listed operating entity.

Transfer Pricing Advisory

Shareholder Approval

Shareholder approval is a critical step in the SPAC lifecycle. The proposed acquisition is presented to SPAC shareholders, who vote on the transaction during a special meeting. 

 

In Singapore, obtaining a majority vote is necessary for the deal to proceed. Shareholders who oppose the acquisition may choose to redeem their shares for a pro-rata portion of the trust account.

De-SPAC Process

The de-SPAC process involves the completion of the merger and the subsequent transition of the private company to a publicly traded entity. This phase includes integrating the target’s operations, financial reporting, and corporate governance with the SPAC’s structure. 

 

The combined entity begins trading on the SGX under a new ticker symbol, marking the culmination of the SPAC lifecycle.

Post-Merger Integration and Performance

The final phase of the SPAC lifecycle focuses on post-merger integration and monitoring the performance of the newly public company. Effective integration is important for realizing the anticipated benefits of the acquisition.

Integration

Post-merger integration involves harmonizing the operations, cultures, and strategies of the merged entities. The management team implements plans to streamline processes, align corporate goals, and achieve synergies. 

 

In Singapore, this phase may also involve additional regulatory compliance and reporting requirements to ensure adherence to SGX listing standards.

Performance Monitoring

The success of the SPAC transaction is measured through the performance of the newly public company. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as revenue growth, profitability, and market share are monitored to assess the merger’s impact. 

 

Regular financial reporting and audits, often conducted in collaboration with an audit firm in Singapore, ensure transparency and accountability to shareholders.

In Summary

The SPAC lifecycle in Singapore covers several intricate stages, from formation and IPO to target identification, merger negotiation, and post-merger integration. Each phase requires careful planning, due diligence, and strategic execution to achieve a successful outcome. 


As Singapore continues to enhance its regulatory framework and attract high-quality sponsors and targets, SPACs are likely to remain a significant vehicle for companies seeking to go public and investors looking for growth opportunities.

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