SPAC trends on rise in US as Paul Singer, Facebook co-founder and Dell participate

Michael Dell, billionaire hedge fund manager and activist investor Paul Singer, Facebook Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin and the previous Xerox Corp. chief Ursula Burns have united to join the ‘blank-check’ IPO parade on the same single day.

Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., becoming more tenacious has registered for two new special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs. In total, at least 13 of the blank-check companies filed on Friday 19th February for U.S. initial public offerings, attempting to raise a combined total of more than $4.5 billion.

SPACs have begun to command IPOs this year, amounting to 63% of the approximate $77 billion raised on U.S. exchanges, according to data collected by Bloomberg. Including Friday’s newcomers, 146 SPACs that have filed since 1st January 2021 are waiting for IPOs to add $40 billion to that total, suggests data.

The vehicles, which consist of an IPO and then merge with a private company looking to go public, have multiplied to the extent that serial filers are putting in for two or even three on the same day. On Friday, that included two SPACs supported by Cantor Fitzgerald — it’s seventh and eighth — in addition to Elliott’s double play.

High-profile investors such as Bill Ackman, whose $4 billion listings by Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd. in July is positioned as the biggest-ever SPAC, have inspired a group of followers. This month, financier Michael Klein added $1.68 billion with two additions — his sixth and seventh — to his blank-check collection. The next day, Vinod Khosla’s namesake venture capital firm won over Klein on the deal count, with three SPACs pricing on one day to raise a total of $1.2 billion.

Lastly,  there are SPACs promoted by celebrities and politicians, ranging from former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick and retired New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez to former House Speaker Paul Ryan and former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

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