It’s been a busy first half for SPACs, with an exuberant Q1 that ended in an historic selloff. Then as the broader market rebounded in Q2, SPACs came roaring back, with record issuance and a surge in the number of pending deals and LOIs trading above cash in trust.
Thirty-eight SPACs have now raised $12.1bn in 2020, and $5.7bn worth of IPOs are on file, putting the market on pace to blow past last year’s record issuance by the middle of July.
A trend we explored in May continued, as more capital flowed towards SPACs without a specific sector focus. Those generalist SPACs have raised 63% of all SPAC capital this year, putting $7.6bn into trust accounts in search of an acquisition target.
1H 2020 Underwriting League Tables
Credit Suisse ran away with the title of most active underwriter in the first half, working on seven deals and earning $2.7bn in book-runner credit. CS was sole book-runner on both Social Capital SPACs in April and was also lead left on both Bill Foley SPACs that priced in Q2. With two $500mm deals on file, Credit Suisse is poised to overtake Cantor’s record $3bn year from 2019 by the end of July.
Citi and Goldman Sachs rounded out the top three, both earning over $1.5bn in league table credit. Citi was lead left on the biggest SPAC of the year so far, Churchill III, and is also lead left on Pershing Square’s upcoming $3bn SPAC. Goldman was a book-runner on six deals, equaling its total from 2019, and took over left lead for a couple of SPACs (Flying Eagle & CC Neuberger) whose principals had used different bankers on previous issuance.
As always, Credit for Book-runner Volume ($MM) is based on the total amount of the offering sold, including over-allotment. Full credit is awarded to the sole book-runner or split equally among joint book-runners.
1H 2020 Legal League Tables
Skadden worked on nine deals that raised almost $4bn in the first half of 2020, more than any other law firm. Winston & Strawn was also very busy in the first half, working on eight deals worth over $3bn. But White & Case hired away Winston’s SPAC team in June, and given that firm already has five IPO’s on file, we expect White & Case to climb the league tables quickly in the second half. Nine firms worked on deals that raised over $1bn in the first half, two more than the number that did so in all of 2019.