Canadian SPACs: Rising From The Ashes

Particular Goal Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are all the craze. As soon as mired in obscurity, SPACs are reaching a fever pitch. The SPAC uptrend started in 2017, when 34 SPACs IPO’ed and raised $10 billion in funds. This was greater than double the 12 months prior. In 2019, there have been 59 SPAC IPOs which raised $13.6 billion. Then got here 2020, the 12 months of unprecedented occasions.

Supply: SPAC analysis

In 2020, there have been 81 SPAC IPOs with funds raised totalling $33.1 billion. There are an extra 30 at varied phases of pre-IPO that are aiming to boost ~$6.5 billion in funds. In whole, there are actually 153 energetic SPACs on US exchanges with ~$48 billion in trusts.

At the moment, I don’t intend in going into the deserves or efficiency of U.S.-listed SPACs. If you’re serious about extra in-depth protection on U.S.-listed SPACs, I’d extremely suggest following fellow Searching for Alpha contributor Chris Demuth Jr. For my part, they supply best-in-class protection on this space.

The aim at this time is to have a look at the Canadian SPAC market. As somebody who covers the Canadian markets on SA, I’ve been getting requested many questions on TSX-listed SPACs. Naturally, given the recognition south of the border, Canadian traders are on the lookout for comparable investments within the nice white north.

The excellent news? There’s a Canadian SPAC market. The unhealthy information? It’s nearly non-existent.

Canada’s SPAC Background

SPACs south of the border have existed within the US markets because the early 90s, however the TSX had at all times been proof against the concept. Nonetheless, as SPACs gained in recognition within the early 2000s, the TSX lastly caved and adopted guidelines to permit for SPAC listings. Formally, the TSX started allowing SPACs on December 19, 2008.

If SPACs had been so common, one would suppose that there could be a number of suitors lined up. However no, it was crickets for years. The primary SPACs to record in Canada didn’t happen till 2015 and thru 2016 there have been six TSX-listed SPACs that went public and mixed, they raised roughly $1 billion in trusts.

Sadly, they had been nothing wanting a failure. In keeping with an article by the Globe and Mail from 2017, solely a type of six closed a “clear, profitable deal.” Summarized, the explanations for his or her failures had been as follows:

  • Unable to compete in opposition to massive hedge funds and pension plans which had deeper pockets.
  • The SPAC traders proved arduous to please.
  • The price of not closing on a deal is simply too massive of a deterrent.

These points led to the writer concluding that SPACs had been all however lifeless in Canada. He wasn’t fallacious – there was little exercise since. In impact, the Globe piece actually was “An Obituary for Canadian SPACs.”

Rising from the ashes

Now that SPACs are as sizzling as ever south of the border, will it result in a market revival in Canada? At this level, curiosity stays muted.

As of writing, there are solely two TSX-listed SPAC corporations – Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. (OTCPK:BKCQF)[TSX:BC.U] and NextPoint Acquisition Corp. [TSX:NAC.V]. Are both of those worthy of your consideration? Let’s have a look.

Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. “BCAC”

On August 15, 2019, BCAC closed on its IPO elevating gross proceeds of US$350 million at US$10.00 per Class A Restricted Voting Unit. A typical providing by which there was an over-allotment possibility of US$52.5 million.

Every Class A Restricted Voting Unit is comprised of 1 Class A Restricted Voting Share and one-half Warrant. Every complete Warrant [TSX:BC.WT.U] entitles the holder to buy one Class A Restricted Voting Share for US$11.50 per share.

The company is led by Government Chairman Paul Walsh (former CEO of Diego) and Peter Caldini (former senior government at Pfizer).

In keeping with the corporate’s web site “BCAC’s technique is targeted on constructing a number one worldwide vertically built-in hashish firm operated to the best requirements of regulatory compliance and company governance.”

Whereas this will have been engaging a number of years in the past, the hashish business has been decimated. For my part, it is likely one of the least engaging industries. It has been fraught with challenges from governance to operations, and the markets are repeatedly over-estimating demand. The hashish business stays speculative, and nonetheless carries appreciable danger.

Granted, BCAC can do a 180 as “it’s not restricted to a selected business or geographic area for functions of finishing its Qualifying Acquisition.” The probability of that is low nonetheless, as they nonetheless keep their give attention to the hashish business.

As of writing, the BCAC is buying and selling at CAD$9.99 per share and has traded sideways because it went public. A 12 months later, there was little information and no indication they’re any nearer to closing on an acquisition. Mix that with the actual fact it’s specializing in the hashish business, there may be little enchantment for me right here.

NextPoint Acquisition Corp.

Canada’s latest SPAC, NextPoint acquisition simply went public on the TSX Index on August 11, 2020. The corporate raised US$200 million at US$10.00 per Class A Restricted Voting Models with an over-allotment possibility of $30 million.

The main points of the IPO are similar to that of Bespoke. Every Voting Unit [TSX:NAC.V] is comprised of 1 Class A Restricted Voting Share and one-half Warrant. Every complete Warrant entitles the holder to buy one Class A Restricted Voting Share at US$11.50.

Since we aren’t but 40 days publish IPO, the Class A Models NAC.V are nonetheless buying and selling on the TSX. As soon as the 40 days expire, NAC.V will break up and the Class A Restricted Voting Shares and Warrants will commerce individually underneath the symbols NAC.U and NAC.WT.U. This implies, that if you buy NAC.V at this time, you’ll be entitled to 1 Class A Voting Share and one-half Warrant per unit.

The staff is led by the BasePoint Capital duo of Andrew Neuberger (Founder and former CEO) and Frank Amato (CFO). BasePoint Capital is a privately held, UK-based diversified specialty finance firm.

In keeping with Newberger, BasePoint has lent US$4.1 billion in capital and supplied traders with internet returns of 11{5667a53774e7bc9e4190cccc01624aae270829869c681dac1da167613dca7d05} yearly. He offered BasePoint Capital earlier this 12 months (January) for an undisclosed quantity and is now main NextPoint.

NexPoint intends to focus its effort on the choice lending and monetary companies business. For my part, that is rather more engaging as there are many rising fin-tech corporations and well-run alternate lenders that may make for attention-grabbing targets.

By all accounts, Newberger had success with BasePoint Capital and he now seems totally centered on NextPoint. Though it has not entered right into a written or oral acquisition, NextPoint claims to have already entered into discussions with potential targets.

Of the 2 TSX-listed SPACs, I consider NextPoint is the one with probably the most promise and upside.


The SPAC market in Canada is way from sturdy. In whole, there are solely seven Canadian SPACs and solely two are presently buying and selling on Canada’s largest Index. The remainder are buying and selling on both the NEO or CSE exchanges. Of the seven, six are centered on the hashish business. Generally, this makes them unattractive.

Probably the most attention-grabbing is the lone firm trying exterior the hashish business. NextPoint appears to have all the correct substances for achievement. Nonetheless, at US$200 million, it’s a smaller SPAC, particularly when it’s in comparison with friends south of the border.

Given its low capital, the actual fact it’s being led by a first-time SPAC-er and Canada’s poor document of SPAC success, NextPoint just isn’t with out appreciable danger.

Disclosure: I/we have now no positions in any shares talked about, and no plans to provoke any positions inside the subsequent 72 hours. I wrote this text myself, and it expresses my very own opinions. I’m not receiving compensation for it (apart from from Searching for Alpha). I’ve no enterprise relationship with any firm whose inventory is talked about on this article.

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