Research Outline

European Special Purpose Acquisition Companies


To locate the URLs of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in Europe that have successfully listed in any stock exchange in the last five years.

Early Findings

  • SPACs are also termed “blank check” companies or “cash shells”.
  • In the US there were 34 SPACs listed in 2017 (the highest number since 2007). They raised $9.9 billion.
  • In the UK, there were 15 SPACs listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2017. None were listed in 2016 and only one was listed in 2015. The UK SPACs raised a total of $2.15 billion during that time.
  • SPACs have made a resurgence due to changes in regulations in the oil and gas industry.
  • Please note that, in the UK, “as a cash shell, a SPAC does not meet the eligibility requirements of a premium listing on the Main Market of the LSE (London Stock Exchange) as it will neither have an independent business nor a financial track record required to meet the requirements of Chapter 6 of the Listing Rules (“Listing Rules”) of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). In addition, it will not meet the requirements of being a premium listed closed-ended investment fund under Chapter 15 of the Listing Rules as it will not normally have a policy of investment with the objective of spreading investment risk. SPACs can, instead, seek (i) a quotation on the LSE’s AIM market, or (ii) a Main Market standard listing on the LSE under Chapter 14 of the Listing Rules. Both an AIM quotation and a standard listing benefit from lighter regulation than a premium listing on the Main Market.”
  • A report published in 2013 noted that only 19 SPACs had been listed on the European stock exchanges since 2005.
  • Europe priced only one SPAC in the first half of 2019: Gear 1 SpA. This SPAC raised $34.1 million which is considered modest compared to 10 SPAC IPOs in Europe in 2018 which raised $1.45 billion.
  • Gear 1 SpA does not have a website listed within Bloomberg’s company profile database.
  • Gear 1 SpA is connected to Milan.