European finance seeks to avoid the excesses linked to “blank checks”

The bad reputation given to SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) on Wall Street is not without consequences in Europe. “What is happening in the United States may lead some potential SPAC sponsors to be cautious, even if conditions are structurally better in Europe, due to the still very limited number of listed PSPCs”, recognizes Julien Fabre, co-head of the Deutsche Bank investment bank for France. “Since the start of the school year, we have felt a certain fatigue”, confirms another speaker.

However, « the dynamics are very different. There has been an exuberance in the United States which is not found in Europe, whether in terms of the amounts raised, delusional valuations or even improbable protagonists “, assures Antoine Flamarion, the co-founder of the management company Tikehau Capital, which has joined forces with Financière Agache (holding company of Bernard Arnault), and two bankers, Jean-Pierre Mustier and Diego de Giorgi, in order to invest in financial services. In April, on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, they carried out the largest European fundraising: 500 million euros. Tikehau Capital still aims to launch a series of SPAC with Financière Agache.

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“For what follows, everything will depend on the acquisitions that will be made by the European PSPCs. The first should come in a few weeks, and they will be watched very closely by the market. We must not forget that, behind certain excesses, the tool remains attractive for rating companies ”, notes Mr. Flamarion. The “SPAC-mania” Being very new in Europe, most of these financial vehicles have not yet made any acquisitions, which is what they were designed for.

Six SPACs were created on the Paris Stock Exchange

According to the law firm White & Case, 26 European PSPCs raised 6.58 billion dollars (5.6 billion euros) between January and July 2021. The collection carried out in July alone at the Amsterdam stock exchanges , Paris or Stockholm (that is, 1.37 billion dollars) represents more than the amounts collected in cumulative over the whole of 2019 and 2020. To be compared with the 88 billion dollars raised across the Atlantic in the first quarter, before the “slap” To $ 16 billion in the second quarter, according to data from S&P Global.

From Bernard Arnault to the Pinault family, including investment bankers Michael and Yoël Zaoui, almost none of the stars of French capitalism is missing, except perhaps Vincent Bolloré

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