Do SPACs Generate Abnormal Returns?

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) raise capital through IPO under special conditions intending to acquire an existing company (private equity). On the one hand, it looks like an attractive opportunity for investors — SPACs bring a lot of excitement and prospects of large profits since the management can find a valuable opportunity. On the other hand, SPACs are very speculative and even frequently overpriced, which attracts many critiques. While SPACs are nothing new, recently they have got quite popular, which raises several questions: are they worth attention or do even they bring abnormal profits? A fascinating insight into SPACs provides a novel research paper of Chong et al. (2021). The study explains the fundamental principles of SPACs, but most importantly, it shows us the risks and returns of such investments. Despite the popularity and the seemingly attractive opportunity of SPACs, results show us that the invested capital could be instead used elsewhere. Although the success depends on the sector in which is the SPAC interested or whether the acquisition was successful, overall, it is hard to find abnormal returns in these investments.

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