Peter Thiel-backed second SE Asia-focused SPAC eyes $200m in US IPO

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Inc., answers a question during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li have once again teamed up to launch a second blank cheque company that is now seeking to raise $200 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in the US.

Bridgetown 2 Holdings, the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Li’s Pacific Century, targets new economy technology, financial services, and media companies in Southeast Asia.

The filing lodged at the US Securities and Exchange Commission comes barely three months after the two billionaire’s first SPAC – Bridgetown Holdings Limited – raised $595 million in a US IPO in October, making it the biggest SPAC focused on Southeast Asia.

SPACs are companies without operations that are formed only to raise capital to acquire other businesses. Merging with a SPAC has become an increasingly popular method for closely-held businesses to raise capital for growth.

In December, Bridgetown Holdings, the first SPAC, was reported to be considering a potential merger with Indonesia’s e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia.

According to a Bloomberg report, the SPAC is exploring the structure and feasibility of a deal with Tokopedia, one of the most valuable startups in the Southeast Asian nation, that would value the startup at $8 billion to $10 billion.

In the latest filing, Bridgetown 2, which is based in Hong Kong, plans to raise $200 million by offering 20 million shares at $10 apiece. At the proposed deal size, the company will command a market value of $256 million.

Unlike most SPACs though, Bridgetown 2’s offering will not contain warrants. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol BTN.

The company said it intends to focus on a target with operations or prospective operations in the technology, financial services, or media sectors, which it refers to as the “new economy sectors” in Southeast Asia.

“We believe that Southeast Asia is entering a new era of economic growth, particularly in the new economy sectors, which we expect will result in attractive initial business combination opportunities for attractive risk-adjusted returns,” the SPAC said.

According to a recent report released by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia’s internet economy has crossed the $100 billion mark in 2019 and is poised to triple to an estimated $300 billion by 2025.

The SPAC said it may also explore compelling opportunities in South Asia.

Bridgetown 2 is led by CEO, CFO, and Director Daniel Wong, who serves as SVP of Pacific Century Group, and Chairman Matt Danzeisen, who is Head of Private Investments at Thiel Capital.

Bridgetown 2 joins a list of SPACs that have raised or are raising funds through IPOs. Earlier, Vickers Vantage, a Singapore-based blank check company formed by venture capital firm Vickers Venture Partners, announced plans to raise about $100 million in a US IPO.

Tiga Acquisition and Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp, both Singapore-based, have also filed to raise $200 million and $225 million IPO in the US, respectively.

SPACs typically acquire firms as quickly as four to five months. They are given up to two years to seek targets. If they can’t fulfil that mandate, they will have to return all the money to the public shareholders.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.