SPAC IPOs and Information

A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a type of 'blank check' shell corporation created to take a company public without doing a traditional IPO. SPACs raise money during their own IPO and then though additional raises from existing institutional investors or outside investors in a PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) transaction.

SPACs aren't yet easily and consistently identified in these resources, so you will get slightly different lists and information in each of them, even when conducting similar searches.

Best Overall - Capital IQ

Use Capital IQ (GSB only, and you need a Capital IQ account), as it has premade screens for companies that are SPACs and for the transaction when a SPAC IPOs.

  1. Hover over the Screening tab and click on Idea Generation.
  2. In the search box in the middle of the page, search for SPAC and select on of the following:
    1. SPACS - Completed IPOs for a list of transactions when SPACs raised money in an IPO.
    2. Special Purpose Acquisition Companies for a list of companies that are SPACs.
  3. Add any additional filters to the screen.
  4. Click View Results, where you can edit the columns that display, save the screen, download to Excel, or click on the companies for more details about that firm or transaction.

If you want to get a list of PIPE deals made by SPACs, follow the above instructions and select the Special Purpose Acquisition Companies screen. 

  1. Select the "Screen for" Transactions radio box in the upper middle of the page.
  2. Under the General Transaction Features box, click Primary Features. Add Private Placement - PIPE to the selected items and press Add Criteria.

Best for Large Research Projects - SDC Platinum

SDC Platinum has historical, point-in-time information about IPOs and other deals. Contact us for more guidance on merging SDC data with sources like CRSP or Compustat.

  1. After you log into SDC, use the instructions for how to download data from SDC as a guide.
  2. Use Global New Issues Databases > All Equities.
  3. When building your screen, use the flag for Blank Check Company Flag Y/N which is defined as "set to "Y" when the Issuer is a blank Check Company or Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle." Note that you may get some false positives with blank check companies that are not SPACs.
  4. To limit to major US exchanges (and specifically for merging with CRSP), when building the search/screen in SDC, use the Primary Exchange of Issue/Borrowers Stock variable.
    1. Double click on it to select the specific exchanges. Depending on the time range, if you're doing major US exchanges, you'll want: NYSE, AMEX, New York, American, and NASDAQ.

Other Options

PitchBook

PitchBook allows you to screen for SPACs and related deals, you just can't download much data. To get started, make sure you have a PitchBook account, and then:

  1. On the left, click on Companies & Deals.
  2. In the Industries, Verticals, and Keywords box on the right, enter and select SPAC.
  3. Press Search in the upper right.
  4. You'll see the list of SPACs on the first page, but you can use the tabs to see other information like Deals.
    1. To get PIPE transactions, on the Deals tab, in the Deal Type column, click on the filter icon. Search for and select PIPE and click Apply Filters.

Eikon

Eikon is good substitute for Capital IQ and it has the same data as SDC Platinum. There are some differences in what variables are available in SDC and Eikon, so let us know if you have questions.

To do a screen for SPAC IPOs (which will also give you a list of SPACs):

  1. In the upper left, search for and open the Screener app.
  2. In the left panel, next to Universe use the drop down to select Deals.
  3. In the Asset Class drop down select Equity.
  4. Under Quick Filters (or search in the Add Filter box), add Issue Type and select IPO.
  5. In the Add Filter search box, search for Blank Check (SPAC) Involvement Y/N. The fields should read: Exclude isNull and == and true. You may get some false positives with blank check companies that are not SPACs.

Identifying SPAC PIPE transactions in Eikon doesn't yield as many results as in Capital IQ.  In the Screener app, do a Deals search using the Asset Class of Equity. Add the Blank Check (SPAC) Involvement Y/N flag and in the Add Filter box search for and add the Private Investment in Public Equities flag.

FactSet

FactSet is another alternative to Capital IQ, and you'll need a FactSet account. To get IPO details for SPACs (and, as a result, you'll also have a list of SPACs):

  1. In the upper left, search for and open the Idea Screening application.
  2. Under Transactions, select Start this Screen next to IPOs and Follow-ons.
  3. In the Search for Items box, search for SPAC. Double click on Blank Check Type.
  4. In the new box at the bottom of the center of the screen, check the box next to Special Purpose Acquisition.
  5. Add any other filters, such as limiting to just IPOs and adjusting the offer date.
  6. Click the green View button in the upper right to view the results. You can edit the columns that display (click Edit Report), save the screen, download to Excel, or click on the companies for more details about individual firms.

Finding PIPE deals or other capital raising for many SPACs is harder in FactSet than the other sources listed above. Let us know if you'd like more information.

Bloomberg

In Bloomberg, go to {IPO} > advanced search > offer types > Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. Add any other filters or criteria on this screen and then hit results to see the list of SPACS.



Answered By: Alice Kalinowski
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2021

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