As Sweden’s first special purpose acquisition vehicle completed a deal, five months after announcing it and more than two years after launching, it may also give a small jolt to an otherwise dormant listings market.
(Bloomberg) — As Sweden’s first special purpose acquisition vehicle completed a deal, five months after announcing it and more than two years after launching, it may also give a small jolt to an otherwise dormant listings market.
The Nordic country, which back in 2021 vied for the top spot as Europe’s hottest IPO market, has seen its listings scene grind to a halt as investors adjust to a world of surging financing costs.
ACQ Bure AB, one of Sweden’s few SPACs, merged Wednesday with cybersecurity firm Yubico AB at a valuation of $800 million. Yubico’s key product is the YubiKey, a physical key used to add a layer of security when logging in on websites or computers.
“I think Stockholm’s world of finance is breathing a small sigh of relief,” said Joakim Bornold, investment economist at Levler, a savings platform. “There are quite a few firms lining up to go public but are waiting for someone to take the first step.”
The merger will bring a highly sought-after sector to the Nasdaq-owned bourse: technology. The market has failed to attract several of Sweden’s most hyped unicorns in recent years, with both music streamer Spotify Technology SA and oat-milk pioneer Oatly Group AB choosing to list in the US.
The ACQ Bure-Yubico merger, while significantly smaller, also comes in the wake of the recent US listings of chipmaker Arm Holdings Plc and online grocer Instacart Inc., signs of renewed activity this month on the global equity capital market scene.
While many SPACs created during the boom in the US back in 2020 have been shut by their sponsors and others that successfully found deals later went bankrupt, there are signs that those that remain are picking up some momentum.
SPACs failed to take off in the Nordic country, with most market watchers attributing the lack of interest to the relative ease with which companies can list in Sweden. As a result, many investors were skeptical of the value of SPACs and didn’t see them as necessary.
“It will be interesting to see whether this will be the ice breaker some are hoping it will be,” Levler’s Bornold said. “It’s a bit amusing that our hope now lies in the previously ridiculed SPACs, which may prove to get the last laugh.”
Yubico opened at 101 kronor a share in Stockholm trading, rising as much as 8.6% to 107.60 kronor before paring some gains.
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