SG’s Vickers Venture Partners exploring SPAC listing on SGX

Vickers Venture Partners's Finian Tan at DealStreetAsia's Asia PE-VC Summit 2017 in Singapore.

Vickers Venture Partners is exploring a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listing in Singapore, said its founder and chairman, Finian Tan, in an interview with DealStreetAsia.

Tan shared that the Vickers team has yet to arrive on a hard target to raise for the Singapore-listed SPAC, adding that it may range between S$150 million and S$500 million ($110-370 million) depending on the company it plans to conduct a SPAC merger with.

“We have lots of targets in mind including from our own portfolio, which has also been said to be well-received under the Singapore regime. That’s great because we do have quite a lot of Singapore companies that are SPAC-able,” said Tan.

SPACs are blank cheque firms that raise capital solely to acquire private entities with the aim of taking them public.

Vickers Venture Partners currently oversees a global fund portfolio of $409.3 million, according to its website. This includes names such as Singapore-based kidney dialysis device maker AWAK and UK-based vaccine developer Emergex Vaccines. The firm invests in deep-tech opportunities covering sectors like biotech and artificial intelligence.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) allowed SPAC listings on the bourse in September and has been actively wooing Asian sponsors to launch blank cheque firms to spur listings and investor interest. Several names have reportedly shown interest in recent weeks, including Vertex Venture Partners, Turmeric Capital and Novo Tellus.

The SGX  is allowing SPACs to list at a lower minimum value of S$150 million ($111 million), instead of the S$300 million suggested in the initial SPAC framework. The lower minimum SPAC value would translate into potential SPAC targets falling in the “mid-tier” (S$450 million to S$1.2 billion) valuation bracket, allowing the bourse to capture a wider pool of target companies and sponsors in the Asia Pacific market. The SGX’s new SPAC rules were effective from September 3.

Vickers Venture Partners was one of Southeast Asia’s first investors to jump on the SPAC bandwagon, launching its first $120 million US-listed SPAC, Vickers Vantage I in January this year.

Vickers Vantage I has yet to secure a target company. Tan declined to share merger timeline targets for Vantage I, sharing that the team still has another nine months left to consummate a deal that is progressing “exactly as expected.”

Tan further added that Vickers remains bullish on SPACs despite a cooling market in the US, and is looking to launch its second and third SPAC in the US soon.

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.