First Singapore SPAC Sees Retail Portion 36 Times Subscribed


The first blank-check company to debut in Singapore attracted strong demand for its shares reserved for retail and institutional investors.

Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation Ltd. (VTAC), sponsored by state investor Temasek’s Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd., received bids that were 36 times the amount offered for units allocated to retail investors, according to a press release yesterday. The international placement portion of the initial public offering was subscribed by nearly nine times.

The special purpose acquisition company raised S$170 million ($126 million) in an IPO that inaugurated the city-state’s framework for such companies. The final size can be increased if the over-allotment option is exercised. VTAC is set to start trading at 2 p.m. local time.

Singapore announced a listing framework for SPACs ahead of financial-hub rival Hong Kong last year, with rules that are seen as less stringent as it seeks to boost local listings. Hong Kong’s first blank-check company filed a prospectus with the city’s exchange on Monday and its debut date has yet to be set.

VTAC is targeting companies within six investment themes, including cybersecurity and artificial intelligence — though biotech probably won’t be in focus. SPACs in Singapore have 24 months to engage in an acquisition, subject to an extension of up to 12 months.

“It’s very hard for this market to understand biotech,” VTAC Chairman Chua Kee Lock said last week, adding that potential targets are likely to come from Southeast Asia, India, China or Israel, where Vertex already has investments.

Two more SPACs are set to debut in the Asian city this month. Tikehau Capital-backed Pegasus Asia is lined up to trade on Friday after a S$150 million IPO. Novo Tellus Alpha Acquisition may list next week after a similar-size deal.

Credit Suisse Group AG, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and Morgan Stanley are joint issue managers and global coordinators on VTAC’s offering.