Goldman Sachs creates Hong Kong SPAC team for Asia deal surge

A Goldman Sachs sign is seen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in the Manhattan borough of New York January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Goldman Sachs has set up a team of Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) bankers in Hong Kong to focus on a rush of these blank cheque deals emerging in the Asian region.

The initiative was put in place towards the end of last year – but has not been reported – when SPACs started taking off in Asia following rapid growth in these deals elsewhere, including in the United States.

A SPAC typically raises money to acquire a private company with the purpose of taking it public, allowing such targets to move more quickly to the public markets than via a traditional initial public offering.

Raghav Maliah, the global vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division, leads the Hong Kong-based team which also consists of Vikram Chavali and Edward Byun.

“We are seeing a great deal of capital markets and M&A activity across the region, including increased SPAC involvement both on the IPO and M&A fronts,” Maliah told Reuters in an interview.

“SPACs have become an incrementally relevant product for consideration when they think through ways to achieve their goals.”

Chavali, an investment banking managing director, covers technology, media and telecom (TMT) sectors for Goldman Sachs across Asia Pacific ex-Japan.

Byun is an Equity Capital Markets (ECM) managing director specialising in TMT and high growth sectors across the region. Goldman‘s specialist team contrasts with most other “bulge bracket” investment banks operating across Asia, which carry out SPAC work primarily through their ECM businesses.

In Asia, SPAC deal volumes are some way behind those in the United States.

There has been $2.64 billion worth of SPAC deals in Asia so far in 2021, which is already more than $2.46 billion for 2020, based on Dealogic data.

Globally, there has been $79.3 billion worth of SPACs issues since the start of the year, almost eclipsing the $83.3 billion raised in total for 2020, the Dealogic data showed.

Citigroup is the most active SPAC bookrunner with a 14% share of the market worldwide, ahead of Goldman Sachs at 12% and Credit Suisse at 9%, based on Dealogic data.

Reuters

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.