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SPAC Business Combinations

Below are ways to find the deal where a private company is combined with a public SPAC (often through a type of reserve merger) as a way to be taken public.

SPACs aren't yet consistently identified in these resources, so you will get slightly different lists and information in each of them, even when conducting similar searches. Use these instructions as a starting point, and contact us if you want more guidance for your specific question.

Best Overall

Capital IQ

Capital IQ (GSB only, and you need a Capital IQ account) has a pre-made screen for when a SPAC combines with a private company.

  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 the desired screen. Select SPACs - Business Combinations. This is doing a keyword search of the target/issuer's description to identify SPACs and also limiting to reverse merger transactions.
  3. Add any additional filters to the screen, such as by date.
    1. Consider screening by just IPOs on major US exchanges. In the Equity Details box, select Exchanges. Add Major US Exchanges to the Selected Items and press Add Criteria.
  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.
Language Used: In Capital IQ the SPAC is listed as the Target/Issuer, and the private company as the Buyer/Investor. However, in FactSet and Eikon/SDC, the SPAC is listed as the Acquirer and the private company as the Target.

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 the Mergers & Acquisitions database and select either US or Non-US Targets.
  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

FactSet

FactSet is a good alternative to Capital IQ, and you'll need a FactSet account. To get a list of M&A transactions where the acquirer is a SPAC:

  1. In the upper left, search for and open the Idea Screening application.
  2. Under Transactions, select Start this Screen next to M&A.
  3. In the Search for Items box, search for SPAC. Double click on Blank Check/SPAC Acquirer. In the new box at the bottom of the center of the screen, check the box next to Blank Check/SPAC Acquirer.
  4. To help filter out false positives that are other types of blank check companies, in the Search for Items box:
    1. Search for key and under Acquirer select Business Description (Keyword). In the new box enter merger and press Add. Repeat for target and special purpose acquisition company
    2. Search for and double click on reverse merger. In the new box at the bottom of the center of the screen, check the box next to Reverse Merger.
  5. Add any other filters (like limiting to major US exchanges) and/or adjust the announcement 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.

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 get a list of M&A activity with SPACs (note: this returns much fewer results than in Capital IQ):

  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 M&A.
  4. In the Add Filter search box, search for and select Blank Check Company Flag. You may get some false positives with blank check companies that are not SPACs.
  5. Add any other filters, like the Primary Stock Exchange filter to NYSE and NASDAQ. You could also search for and select Reserve Takeover Flag, as many SPAC combinations use this deal structure.
  6. Add or remove columns to get additional information about the deals.

Bloomberg Terminal

In Bloomberg, search for SPACs in the main command bar and select the option in the functions list for Mergers & Acquisitions SPACs.



Answered By: Alice Kalinowski
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2021

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