Novo Tellus files prospectus to raise $111m from SPAC listing on Singapore Exchange

A man checks his phone at the entrance of the Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) headquarters in Singapore. Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Singapore-based private equity firm Novo Tellus Capital Partners, which received the green light to list its Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in December, lodged the prospectus for the IPO on Thursday.

Novo Tellus Alpha Acquisition will look to raise S$150 million ($111 million) from the public offer.

SPACs, also known as blank cheque companies, raise capital via traditional IPOs for the purpose of acquiring a privately held company. A merger with the publicly traded SPAC provides a private company with a cheap and fast listing route.

It has already secured S$80 million from 13 investors who will subscribe for 16 million cornerstone shares at an offering price of S$5 apiece.

These cornerstone investors comprise a mix of Asian private equity firms, banks, and high net worth individuals (HNWIs).

They are: Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad, Venezio Investments Pte. Ltd., Asdew Acquisitions Pte. Ltd., DBS Bank Ltd. (on behalf of certain wealth management clients), DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd. (on behalf of certain wealth management clients), Fortress Capital Asset Management (M) Sdn Bhd, Gerald Oh, Heritas Capital Management Pte. Ltd., KSC (S) Pte. Ltd, Maxi-Harvest Group Pte. Ltd., Ronald Ooi, Target Asset Management Pte. Ltd., and UBS Asset Management (Singapore) Ltd.

The sponsor of the SPAC is Novo Tellus Private Equity Fund 2, a Cayman Islands-domiciled investment entity. Novo Tellus has several SGX-listed investments from its portfolio including ISDN Holdings, Grand Venture Technology, Procurri, and AEM, which have achieved 312% equity growth from 2011 to 2021.

Novo Tellus Alpha Acquisition will look for targets in the technology and industrials sector in the Indo Pacific region, according to the prospectus. These include areas such as Industry 4.0, next-generation semiconductors, cloud and edge computing, AI, medical life sciences, and supply chain resiliency for advanced engineering.

The prospectus adds that the SPAC will be led by Loke Wai San, Keith Toh, and Irwin Lim, senior executives at Novo Tellus.

Novo Tellus is the third firm, following Vertex Holdings and Tikehau Capital, to have submitted its interest to launch a SPAC on the SGX.

There are hopes that by allowing SPAC listings, the SGX could see a boost in listings that otherwise look for markets like the US. DealStreetAsia had reported in September that Singapore is looking to invest directly into pre-IPO and blank cheque companies on SGX to bolster listings on the bourse.

The final framework for SPAC listings released by the SGX in September last year had pegged their minimum size at S$150 million.

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.