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European SPACs Data Hub

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A challenging macro-economic backdrop and volatile equity markets have impacted European SPAC IPO activity in 2022, with EU SPACs only raising US$1.78 billion in the year to the end of September 2022, more than 70 per cent down year-on-year.

EU de-SPAC deal activity has also declined as wider M&A markets have cooled. De-SPAC deal value totalled US$11.81 billion over the first nine months of 2022 compared to US$72.07 billion recorded over the same period last year, representing an 83% drop year-on-year.

The White & Case European SPACs Data Hub highlights the key datapoints behind SPAC IPO and de-SPAC M&A trends in Europe.

European De-SPAC M&A

 

 

These statistics track the SPAC IPOs for deals above $100m that have listed on European Stock Exchanges. 

European SPAC Data & statistics roundup

European SPAC IPO activity

There have been no SPAC IPOs on European stock exchanges in Q3 2022. Historically the third quarter has been quieter for IPOs (including SPACs), as it straddles the summer period (Q3 2021 was the weakest quarter for EU SPAC IPOs last year), but the fact that no SPAC listings have progressed at all during Q3 this year is reflective of how difficult the environment has become.

The STOXX Europe 600 Index has shed close to a fifth of its value in 20221 and investors have been cautious around backing new IPO candidates generally. The weak SPAC IPO market in Q3 2022 means that EU SPAC IPO proceeds for this year are now more than 70 per cent below the levels seen over the first nine months of 2021.

There is some hope that sentiment will improve in Q4 2022.

The successful IPO of luxury carmaker Porsche in Frankfurt has shown that investors are still ready to back high-quality IPO opportunities2 and early in October, Anglo-Russian mining executive Artem Volynets announced plans to list a US$125 million SPAC in London targeting deals in in the mining & metals sector.

If the Volynets SPAC proceeds as planned, it will consolidate London’s position as the most popular jurisdiction for IPOs by SPAC sponsors on European stock exchanges in 2022.

As things stand, the UK has secured the most EU SPAC IPOs with three listings, securing US$810.14 million for the year to the end of Q3 2022. The Netherlands, the go-to European jurisdiction for EU SPAC listings in 2021, has recorded two IPOs during the first three quarters of 2022 with proceeds of US$451.65 million. Germany has also recorded two IPOs raising US$363.02 million.

1 MarketWatch as of 7 October 2022
2 Financial Times

European SPAC IPOs

These statistics track the SPAC IPOs for deals above US$100 million that have listed on European Stock Exchanges from 1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022.

Annual breakdown of European-listed SPAC IPOs

This chart shows the breakdown of annual SPAC IPOs listed on European stock exchanges by value and volume.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Year

Number of issues

Market share (%)

2019

1

3

2020

2

4

2021

32

77

2022

8 16

Industry total

43

100

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Issuer nation by number of SPAC listings

This chart shows the nation of the issuer by number of listings for the period between 1 January 2019 and 30 September 2022.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Issuer nation

Number of issues

Market share (%)

Luxembourg

9 20

Netherlands

8 21

France

7 18

Cayman Islands

4 7

United Kingdom

3 9

Sweden

3 7

Italy

3 7

Finland

2 2

Guernsey

1

3

United States

1 2

Germany

1 2

Switzerland

1 2

Industry total

43 100

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Issuance stock exchange by number of SPAC listings

This chart shows the number of SPAC IPO listings on European Stock Exchanges by number, by year.

1 January 2022 to 30 September 2022

Primary exchange nation

Number of issues

Market share (%)

United Kingdom

3 46

Netherlands

2 25

Germany

2 20

France

1 9

Industry total

8 100

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Full-year 2021

Primary exchange nation

Number of issues

Market share (%)

Netherlands

15 50

Germany

4 13

France

4 12

Sweden

3 10

Italy

2 5

Finland

2 3

United Kingdom

1 4

Switzerland

1 3

Industry total

32 100

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Full-year 2020

Primary exchange nation

Number of issues

Market share (%)

France

1 74

Netherlands

1 26

Industry total

2 100

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Full-year 2019

Primary exchange nation

Number of issues

Market share (%)

United Kingdom

1 100

Industry total

1 100

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

European De-SPAC Data & statistics roundup

European DE-SPAC M&A activity

European de-SPAC deal activity has felt the chill from cooling global M&A markets, with de-SPAC deal value for the first nine months of 2022 coming in at US$11.81 billion, some 83 per cent down year-on-year on de-SPAC deal value for the same period last year.

Year-on-year comparisons have been dented after Swiss-based lottery group Allwyn Entertainment and US SPAC Cohn Robbins Holding Corp., headed up by former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn3, called off a US$7.36 billion deal announced in January 2022, citing adverse market conditions4.

Deal value is also down on a quarterly basis, sliding from US$5.75 billion in Q2 2022 to US$1.87 billion in Q3 2022 this year. Deal count, however, has held up, with nine deals secured in Q2 2022 as well as in Q3 2022.

Even though EU de-SPAC deal value is running well short of the record levels observed last year, activity remains comfortably ahead of pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, quarterly deal value never exceeded US$700 million.

Even though the Allwyn Entertainment deal has been called off, media & entertainment remains the biggest sector for EU de-SPAC deal value by a significant margin, with deals to the tune of US$6.07 billion.

Entertainment has delivered the largest de-SPAC deal of the year Europe, with White & Case advising Pegasus Entrepreneurs — a SPAC sponsored by Tikehau Capital5 and Financière Agache — on a US$7.1 billion enterprise value and US$4.09 billion equity value transaction on the de-SPAC of global entertainment group operating in content production and distribution, and online sports betting.

Financials is the next biggest sector by value, followed by consumer staples and technology. Financials is also the joint most active by de-SPAC deal volume, tied with technology at five transactions apiece.

3 European lottery group Allwyn to list on NYSE with blank check firm Cohn Robbins
4 Allwyn scraps plans to list via SPAC merger with Cohn Robbins
Tikehau Capital sponsored SPAC Pegasus Entrepreneurs to combine with FL Entertainment

European de-SPAC/business combinations data

These statistics track the de-SPAC merges involving a European target from 1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022.

Annual summary of de-SPAC transactions with European target

This chart shows the annual number of de-SPAC mergers with European targets, between 1 January 2019 and 30 September 2022.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Announcement year

Number of deals

Market share (%)

Deal value (US$M)

2019 

7

1

1,518.44

2020

14

14

15,555.70

2021

49

74

80,507.04

2022

26 11 11,816.08

Industry total

96 100 109,397.25

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Year-to-date comparison of de-SPAC transactions with European target

This charts shows year-to-date comparison of the number of de-SPAC deals with a European target for 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Announcement year

Number of deals

Deal value (US$M)

January 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019

5

878.82

January 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

9

2,373.73

January 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021

36

72,074.32

January 1, 2022 - September 30, 2022

26 11,816.08
Industry total (January 01, 2019 to September 30, 2022) 96

109,397.25

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Number of de-SPAC deals in the US by target industry

This chart shows the breakdown of de-SPAC deals for European targets by industry volume over the period 1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Target industry

Number of deals

Market share %

Deal value (US$M)

High technology

21 14 15,386.28

Financials

15 9 9,486.65

Healthcare

12 8 8,752.69

Media & entertainment

11 11 11,712.00

Industrials

10 30 33,068.95

Materials

7 14 15,640.69

Consumer products & services

7 1 725.83

Retail

5 10 11,031.02

Consumer staples

5 2 2,799.04

Energy & power

2 1 777.26

Real estate

1 0 16.84

Industry total

96 100 109,397.25

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Number of de-SPAC deals by target nation

This chart shows the target nation broken down by number of de-SPAC deals with a European target over the period 1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Target nation

Number of deals

Market share %

Deal value (US$M)

United Kingdom 37

28

31,001.08

Germany

10 8 8,318.97

Italy

9 2 2,423.71

Netherlands

6

9

10,117.07

France

5 3 2,845.20

Luxembourg

4 19 21,014.26

Sweden

4 18 19,839.59

Switzerland

4 2 2,135.31

Guernsey

3 4 4,768.08

Spain

3

1

598.78

Norway

3 0.5 562.52

Finland

2 1 937.19

Iceland

1 2 2,189.34

Cyprus

1 2 2,032.51

Ireland

1 0.5 587.00

Greece

1 0 26.63

Turkey

1 0 0.00

Denmark

1 0 0.00

Industry total

96 100 109,397.25

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

 

Number of de-SPAC deals by acquiror nation

This chart shows the acquiror nation broken down by the number of de-SPAC deals with a European target over the period 1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022.

1 January 2019 to 30 September 2022

Acquiror nation

Number of deals

Market share %

Deal value (US$M)

United States

37 80 87,584.39

United Kingdom

21 3 2,932.45

Italy

8 1 869.71

Netherlands

4 5 5,847.83

Luxembourg

4 3 3,107.82

France

4 2 2,533.20

Cayman Islands

4 2 2,281.52

Sweden

3 0.1 94.59

Jersey

2 0 51.17

Germany

2 0 0.00

Russian Federation

1 2 2,032.51

Singapore

1 1 1,118.59

Finland

1 0.3 355.62

Switzerland

1 0.3 312.00

Mexico

1 0.2 191.68

Malaysia

1 0.1 77.10

British Virgin Islands

1 0 7.08

Industry total

96 100 109,397.25

Source: Refinitiv, an LSEG business

Beyond the numbers

UK SPACs see value in “dull” deals

High growth startups with pioneering technology have dominated the headlines when it comes to de-SPAC deals. As markets have cooled and investors have pivoted away from pre-revenue companies to more defensive options, UK sponsors are proving that more prosaic companies can be a good fit for de-SPAC deals too.

The surge in SPAC IPOs and subsequent business combinations in 2021 attracted huge media and investor interest, not least because of the cutting-edge nature of some of the businesses the SPAC sponsors targeted.

Lilium, a flying taxi startup based in Germany, reported a valuation in excess of US$2 billion when it agreed a de-SPAC deal with Qell Acquisition, a SPAC fronted by Barry Engle, a former General Motors executive6. Spacecraft maker Rocket Lab, founded by "New Zealand's Elon Musk" Peter Beck, saw its valuation launch to US$4.8 billion following its de-SPAC deal. Multiple electric car companies as well as businesses farming insects for food ingredients proved equally popular with investors.

But soaring inflation, rising interest rates and softening stock markets have seen appetite for investment in pre-revenue companies with still nascent business models wane, in line with a drop in de-SPAC deal activity.

The Wall Street Journal reports, however, that European SPAC targets have performed better than their US counterparts post-de-SPAC, with London in particular charting a different pathway for SPAC structures7 that is not tethered to high-growth but higher-risk startups.

The London SPAC market has shown that more mundane "analogue" economy assets can make for good deal targets. One de-SPAC deal in London, for example, involved National World, a publisher of regional newspapers. SPACs targeting deals in other less fashionable sectors, such as energy, wealth management and mining, have also gained traction in the UK.

Not only do these assets have regular, recurring revenues, but they also come at more attractive valuations than companies that may be on a growth trajectory but have yet to deliver consistent profitability.

As the SPAC market consolidates after a period of record activity and investment, the kinds of deals SPAC sponsors end up pursuing may be very different to where SPACs first focussed their attention.

Flying taxi startup Lilium goes public via SPAC, unveils its new electric aircraft
London Looks to Un-Meme the SPAC Market

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