April 1 2021
You can’t swing a unicorn these days without bumping into a SPAC conversation (sorry, bad Silicon Valley joke). In days of yore (pre-COVID), the technology PR world would hum with conversations about IPOs, vesting schedules and year-long plans for going public. Like everything else, things are different today. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. (Do I get bonus points for a bad joke and a Ferris Bueller quote in one paragraph?)
A Special Purpose Acquisitions Company (SPAC) is a shell company specifically set up by investors to raise money through an IPO and eventually acquire another company.
For example, SPAC Hedosophia Holdings bought a large stake (49%) in Virgin Galactic before taking the company public in 2019. SPAC companies have no existing business functions at inception and have two years to complete an acquisition or return investments to funders.
A SPAC can accelerate a pace, but what it can’t do is build awareness – at least not without a little outside help. This is where strategic and professional communications come to the table. Not every SPAC has a spokesperson like Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), so making noise about the product/service/company that will eventually be listed on an exchange is vital. For SPACs to fly (Virgin Galactic pun intended), they must make some noise. Early. Before the SPAC files its intent to list an acquired company.
Hiring a trusted communications partner to create and implement an outbound program can provide the runway needed to make sure a SPAC is spun.
This article first appeared in the blog series of Landis Communications Inc. (LCI), PRGN’s member agency in San Francisco, California.