SG’s Vickers Vantage Corp I extends deadline for SPAC merger

Vickers Venture Partners chairman Finian Tan.

Vickers Vantage Corp I, the blank cheque vehicle backed by Singapore-based deep-tech investor Vickers Venture Partners, has extended its deadline for a SPAC merger by three months to April 11, 2022, according to an SEC filing made in January.

The firm added it has made a roughly $1 million deposit in the form of a non-interest-bearing loan into its trust account. This loan may be repaid post-merger or be converted into warrants at a price of $0.75 per warrant. If Vickers Vantage is unable to complete a business combination by April 11, 2022, the SPAC will liquidate.

Vickers Vantage had signed a letter of intent to merge with US-based Scilex Holding Company in December last year, but the transaction is understood to be nascent.

According to the announcement, the proposal was still subject to the negotiation of a definitive merger agreement, board director approval from Vickers and Scilex, fulfilled conditions in the merger agreement, and approval from the Special Purpose Acquisition Company’s (SPAC’s) shareholders.

Vickers Vantage I was incorporated on 21 February 2020 in the Cayman Islands. It filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in December 2020 and was listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol “VCKAU” in January 2021.

The Singapore-based investor, led by Finian Tan, was one of the first in the region to jump on the SPAC bandwagon at the time, having witnessed much of the market fervor around the blank cheque vehicle in the US. Since then, several Asian sponsors have followed suit to launch their own US-listed SPACs such as Bridgetown Holdings, Provident Acquisition and Primavera Capital Acquisition.

The global SPAC market, however, is largely perceived to have passed its peak, especially since US regulators began demanding greater transparency and stricter disclosures from blank cheque sponsors and their shareholders around the middle of last year. This has sent SPAC redemption rates soaring to as high as 50% in 2021 from 20% in 2020, according to reports.

Meanwhile in Southeast Asia, local exchanges have been actively reviving frameworks for SPAC listings, initiating what will be a fresh wave of Asia-listed SPACs in 2022.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) allowed SPAC listings on the bourse in September last year and has been actively wooing Asian sponsors to launch blank cheque firms to spur listings and investor interest.

Earlier this month, Vertex Technology Acquisition Corp, the blank cheque company sponsored by Temasek-backed venture capital firm Vertex Ventures, filed a prospectus to list on SGX. French asset management group Tikehau Capital and its joint sponsor Financiere Agache, the family office of luxury group LVMH chief Bernard Arnault, have also filed a preliminary prospectus to list their SPAC on the SGX.

Other SPACs in the SGX pipeline are understood to include vehicles sponsored by Singapore private equity firm Novo Tellus, and Turmeric Capital led by former LVMH executive Ravi Thakran.

Vickers Venture Partners had told DealStreetAsia last September that it was considering launching a SPAC in Singapore as well.

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.