On March 2, 2020, Nikola, an electric vehicle start-up, announced that it will pursue a listing on NASDAQ through a merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and sports gambling company DraftKings have also gone public via SPACs. Bill Ackman has raised a $4bn SPAC to invest in a “mature unicorn”. While SPACs have been popular in the past, this form of listing the firm public has seen a comeback in 2020.
In this sample lecture, we will explore the reasons behind the rise in SPACs by juxtaposing them against the traditional IPOs. By looking at SPAC structures from the perspectives of different players in the deal (sponsors, target firms, outside investors), we will also go through a simple valuation exercise and cover potential risks involved in SPAC transactions.
The lecture will follow an interactive format and the participants will be invited to share their opinions.
Professor Alminas Žaldokas is an Associate Professor of Finance at the HKUST. He has joined HKUST in 2012 after receiving his Ph.D. in Finance from INSEAD (France). As the visiting scholar, he has also taught at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin.
Professor Žaldokas’s research focuses on the interaction between firm decisions in the financial and in the product markets. His research papers have been published in the leading academic journals such as the Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Management Science, Journal of Accounting Research, RAND Journal of Economics, and Journal of International Economics. His recent work on collusion in product markets has received multiple academic and practitioner awards and has been presented in the conferences organized by the policy makers such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Sample Class Schedule (Hong Kong time)
19:15 Welcome and Introduction
19:25 Sample Class
20:15 Q & A
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