The exuberance investors showed toward special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, was one of the U.S. business trends of 2020. The last year has seen some of the country’s best-known investors, including hedge-fund owner Bill Ackman and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, launch SPACs of their own, with Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings raising US$4 billion in July, making it the biggest to date.
That excitement hasn’t made it north of the border, however. This year has seen just three SPAC vehicles go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Neo Exchange—the only two Canadian exchanges that allow such listings—raising US$555 million. Even on a per-capita basis, the number pales in comparison.
However, a number of Canadian SPACs are currently on the hunt for deals—and their success or failure could determine whether the SPAC craze comes to Canada in 2021.