A general view shows the Singapore Exchange (SGX) stock exchange building in the central business district in Singapore on April 7, 2020, as the country ordered the closure of all businesses deemed non-essential as well as schools to combat the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
ROSLAN RAHMAN | AFP via Getty Images
SINGAPORE — A second blank check company started trading Friday on the Singapore Exchange, a day after the listing of Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation — the city-state’s first ever SPAC.
Pegasus Asia shares opened Friday at $5.01 Singapore dollars, little changed from the offer price of $5 Singapore dollars. The company raised $170 million Singapore dollars ($126.27 million) in gross proceeds from the initial public offering.
It is the first Singapore-listed special purpose acquisition company with international backers — its sponsors include European asset manager Tikehau Capital and Financière Agache, a holding company of Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of French luxury group LVMH.
“We feel quite confident that we should be able to find the right acquisition,” Neil Parekh, CEO and non-independent director at Pegasus Asia, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Friday.
Parekh is also partner and head of Asia, Australia and New Zealand at Tikehau Capital.
He said the blank check company will focus on tech-enabled firms in areas including fintech, consumer, real estate, health and digital services to find its target acquisition.
Last year, the Singapore Exchange announced rules that would allow SPACs to list on the bourse’s main board.
According to the rules, the SPAC needs to have a minimum market capitalization of $150 million Singapore dollars and a 24-month timeframe to de-SPAC — though companies can request a 12-month extension if they meet certain requirements.
SPACs are shell companies set up to raise money through an initial public offering, with the sole purpose of merging with or acquiring an existing private company and taking it public. De-SPACing is the process of taking a private company public.
In a regulatory filing, Pegasus Asia said its offer attracted “significant demand” from international funds, institutional investors, family offices, high-net-worth individuals and retail investors.
Its international offering comprised 29 million offer units, including 4 million units overalloted to investors that Pegasus Asia can buy back with a put option.
The Singapore public offer of 600,000 offer units was 7.8 times oversubscribed — at its close on Wednesday noon, there were 1,108 valid applications for 4.68 million units worth $23.4 million Singapore dollars.
Each unit comprised one new share and one-half of a warrant. A stock warrant allows an investor to purchase a company’s stock at a specific price and at a specific date.
The shares and public warrants are set to trade separately 45 days from the listing date, which is expected to be on March 7.
Pegasus Asia CEO Parekh told CNBC that asset manager Tikehau Capital was already looking at a number of companies in the region that wanted to list when the Singapore Exchange came out with a consultation paper for SPACs.
“We had a chance to look at that very closely and contribute some ideas to that,” he said.
“The final rules came out and we felt the rules were very attractive, very good, balanced rules – guardrails to protect investors. At the same time, enough incentives for sponsors to do deals as well as for company founders to take advantage of going public through this route,” Parekh added.
Citigroup and UBS were joint issue managers on the SPAC.
There is growing interest in blank-check companies across in Asia — with a rising number of sponsors based in the region.
One of Southeast Asia’s most prominent firms, Grab, went public in the U.S. through a SPAC deal.
Singapore has plans to position itself as a major Asian hub for blank-check companies.
On Thursday, Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation became the first blank check company to start trading on the Singapore Exchange. The SPAC is sponsored by Vertex Venture Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of state investor Temasek Holdings.
VTAC rose 1% from its offer price to $5.05 Singapore dollars on Thursday — the stock opened at a high of $5.25 Singapore dollars before paring gains.
A third SPAC called Novo Tellus Alpha Acquisition filed its prospectus Thursday with the Singapore Exchange and expects to begin trading on Jan. 27.