Morning Roundup: January 17, 2024


Morning Roundup: January 17, 2024

At the SPAC of Dawn

Despite a slow start to 2024, there are a variety of signs of the market coming back. Among them, NASDAQ CEO Adena Friedman noted yesterday in a Bloomberg interview in Davos that 85 companies have already lined up to list on the exchange.

In the first half of 2023, the exchange hosted just 60 IPOs, of which 14 were SPACs. That represented an 88% win rate for IPO attempts for the period, with the 33 SPAC IPOs making it through 92% of the time across the Nasdaq and NYSE.

The watch is now on to see how much warmer the waters will be in the first half of this year. If the Nasdaq sees a similar 88% win rate, that would translate to a +23% year-on-year bump in activity to 74 companies listed in there in the first half of 2024.

Overall, however, Asia is leading 2024 IPO activity by a fair clip so far with 34 listings occurring on the continent’s exchanges compared to just three in the Americas and none in Europe. Although the SPAC boom that was anticipated for at the Singapore and Hong Kong exchanges has largely failed to materialize, there may be some more temptations for Asia-based SPAC teams to look near rather than far if this imbalance continues through the year.

Deals and Funding

  • Vision Sensing (NASDAQ:VSAC) has entered into a definitive agreement to combine with Korean biotech firm Mediforum at an enterprise value of $250 million. The SPAC has about $14.9 million in its current trust and it aims to add $50 million in additional committed funding to the deal.
  • Digital World (NASDAQ:DWAC) terminated the remaining $530.5 million in funding commitments for its original $1 billion PIPE attached to the Trump Media and Technology Group deal. It continues to discuss with with investors the possibility of raising $50 million from a convertible note offering. The notes would bear 8% interest and be convertible to units containing a share at $8 per share and a 1/2 warrant exercisable at $11.50.

News and Rumors

  • PYMTS: Freightos (NASDAQ:CRGO) saw a +36% jump in transactions across its digital freight booking platform and a +10% increase in gross booking value in the fourth quarter of 2023. Freightos combined with Gesher I in January 2023.
  • PR: Horizon Aircraft (NASDAQ:HOVR), which just closed its combination with Pono Three January 12, has signed a letter of intent with JetSetGo to purchase 50 Cavorite X7 eVTOL planes at up to $5 million per aircraft fro $250 million and possibly up to 50 more.