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SPAC Roundtable Series: Institutional Recognition and Beyond

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Not long ago, the special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, was a fledgling vehicle considered a second-rate path to the public markets. But in the last several years, issuance of SPAC IPOs has exploded, rivaling major asset classes and accounting for a quarter of U.S. IPO volume. SPACs, also known as “blank check” companies because they raise cash to find targets, have also completed deals with dozens of large, high-quality companies and traded very well upon listing.

For many private-equity firms in particular, a SPAC transaction is frequently more appealing than a regular-way IPO or a private sale. SPACs have become part of the conversation among bankers with clients who want to sell or go public. In short, SPACs have become a recognized institutional product.

What makes a good SPAC sponsor? What does an investment bank need to do to ensure success? And what are the limitations on SPACs in terms of size and target companies?

Cowen’s SPAC team addressed these questions at a SPAC Roundtable, Institutional Recognition and Beyond, featuring three senior professionals from Cowen, all of whom specialize in SPACs. They include Tim Manning, Managing Director, Special Situations; Christopher Weekes, Managing Director, Capital Markets; and Zach Fisher, Managing Director, Investment Banking.

See the additional parts of the SPAC Roundtable series: