Special purpose acquisition companies: are football clubs going (back) to the stock market?
Stock markets this year, most notably in the U.S., have been boosted by the return of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) as a popular means to fundraise public M&A and bring private companies onto the public markets. Having seen an uptick in fundraising by SPACs since 2017, previous records have been shattered in 2020 as more than $36 billion had been raised on Wall Street as of mid-September. This comes at a time when football clubs and leagues are looking for investors and financiers to help steer their balance sheets through the Covid-19 pandemic. It is no longer only high-net-worth individuals and private equity funds looking to invest in football.
This article reviews the trend, examining:
- What is a SPAC?
- Which rules and regulations apply to acquisitions?
- How does this apply to football clubs?
- Current activity in the market
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- How would a private equity firm invest in the English Football League?
About the Author
Managing Associate, Linklaters
Mark Warren is a banking finance lawyer at Linklaters. He is an English law qualified solicitor and has been working in international corporate finance since 2012, having worked in London, Hong Kong, Hamburg and now Amsterdam. He advises domestic and international clients across a range of different financial products, including bank lending, structured finance, securitisation, project finance and derivatives.
Jeff is a capital markets partner at Linklaters, based in New York. Jeff has represented underwriters and issuers in initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, high-yield debt offerings, convertible debt offerings and other debt and equity capital markets transactions. In addition, he has advised a number of public companies on ongoing reporting and disclosure obligations.
Pierre is a U.S. associate in Linklaters’ Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions group. Pierre’s practice focuses on a variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions, including high yield.
Tom is a corporate partner at Linklaters based in London who specialises in equity capital markets and listing rules driven transactions. He regularly advises on IPOs, secondary capital raisings, M&A financings, private placements, redomiciles and demergers. His clients include corporates, investment banks, investment funds and other stakeholders. Tom also provides general corporate advice to a number of listed clients.