The last year has witnessed a growing number of start-ups that are going public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Commonly referred to as “blank-check companies,” SPACs are shell companies whose purpose is to raise capital via IPO solely to later merge with another company—thereby taking that company public while foregoing the usual regulatory procedures of a traditional IPO. It has been a successful strategy so far, with an increasing number of celebrity endorsements and at least one new SPAC going public daily since July 2020. But the regulatory side-stepping has raised concerns in the Securities and Exchange Commission, with experts warning stakeholders against investing in blank-check companies without knowing what those SPACs will later acquire. This case asks students to discuss blank-check companies considering the criticisms against them.
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