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SPACs Go Mainstream

Traders Magazine, June 2008

James Ramage and Peter Chapman

A boom for bankers is a bust for traders. They represent more than a third of all initial public offerings so far this year. They accounted for about a quarter of all IPOs last year. But unlike most new listings, they have not done much for trading desks. SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are corporate shells brought public for the express purpose of acquiring a going concern. They have been around for years, but mostly as micro-cap oddities trading in the over-the-counter market.

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