Capital raising through Special-Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”) has gone through the roof in the last two years. Last year was by far the single highest deal value for SPACs, and the first quarter of 2021 has already surpassed last year’s total deal value. Given the explosion of SPAC transactions, often backed by celebrities, it is a safe bet that the SEC will increase its scrutiny of SPACs.
In fact, on March 25, 2021, Reuters reported that the SEC has requested voluntary information from Wall Street banks on SPAC deals. Whether this inquiry broadens into a full-scale industry sweep remains to be seen, but it is clear that the hotbed of SPAC activity has captured regulatory attention. Also notable is that the plaintiffs’ bar has been filing lots of cases arising from SPAC transactions, which can be a harbinger of SEC inquiries. For these reasons, it is important to understand the regulatory risks of these deals.