VTAC, Singapore’s first SPAC, rises modestly on debut

Stock ticker at SGX building on Shenton Way; taken October 2018.Stock ticker at SGX building.

The initial public offering (IPO) of Vertex Technology Acquisition Corp., or VTAC, the first special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to list in Singapore, made its debut Thursday with moderate gains.  

The units climbed as high as S$5.245 in the opening minutes after the 2 p.m. SGT start of trade, a 4.9 percent increase from the S$5.00 IPO price, but the units crept back to S$5.08 by 2:48 p.m. SGT.

SPAC is essentially a “blank check” company, which raises funds in a public offering and seeks businesses or other assets to acquire later.

On Wednesday, VTAC had said its offering had met with overwhelming demand from institutional and retail investors. 

The public offering of 600,000 units was around 36 times oversubscribed, while the international placement of 11.2 million units was around 8.8 times subscribed, the filing said. 

On Thursday, Pol de Win, SGX’s head of global sales and origination, said at a press conference leading up to the start of trade that “VTAC’s IPO has been been highly anticipated and well sought after.”

He added: 

“The overwhelming response from both institutional and retail investors is testament to the appetite that we see here in this region for SPACs. But importantly, also what VTAC has to offer. VTAC aims to acquire one or more fast growing scalable businesses that target best in class, disruptive, and transformational technologies. Specifically, you’re focused on sectors that shape the world today, and represents the best universe of opportunities. This is in areas such as cybersecurity, AI, consumer internet, FinTech, new energy vehicles, and biotech just to name a few. …

“VTAC is uniquely placed to capture these market opportunities and create long term value for its target company stakeholders. Now, of course, the listing of VTAC also heralds a new era for fundraising and investment opportunities in Asia and in Singapore.”

Chua Kee Lock, the non-executive chairman of VTAC and the group president and CEO of Vertex Venture Holdings, added that the current pandemic was driving a need for economies, businesses and consumers to adapt quickly, with technology playing a significant role. 

He said the SPAC would seek acquisitions in disruptive technologies. 

The sponsor, Vertex Venture Holdings, is a Singapore-based venture capital company with more than US$5.1 billion in assets under management and a portfolio of more than 200 companies. Vertex Venture is owned by Singapore’s state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings.

Read more: Vertex Venture files to list Singapore’s first SPAC to raise S$200M