Temasek-backed Vertex wins nod for Spac listing in Singapore

Vertex Venture plans to invest $30 million in the Spac via subscription of units and intends to contribute up to $10 million of "at-risk" capital. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Temasek-backed Vertex Venture Holdings has become the first blank cheque company sponsor in Singapore to receive an eligibility-to-list letter from the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The firm has incorporated a company called Vertex Technology Acquisition Corp in the Cayman Islands as a special purpose acquisition company (Spac), according to a Dec 24 filing.

The listing is subject to certain conditions as well as the broader market environment.

Vertex Venture plans to invest $30 million in the Spac through the subscription of units and intends to contribute up to $10 million of "at risk" capital by purchasing warrants in a private placement, the filing said.

The move comes after SGX in September approved a framework for listing blank cheque companies on the mainboard.

Also known as blank cheque companies, Spacs are shell entities formed by a group of investors known as sponsors who raise capital via an initial public offering (IPO).

The shell company then identifies, within a set timeframe, a target company - known as a business combination or de-Spac - after which it will deploy the funds raised to take the target company public.

European asset manager Tikehau Capital and Singapore buyout firm Novo Tellus Capital Partners are also exploring blank cheque company listings on the SGX.

Tikehau Capital, together with LVMH chief exercutive Bernard Arnault's family office Financiere Agache, submitted an IPO application to list a Spac on the SGX in October, according to Bloomberg.

The application is to raise $200 million for the Spac, Pegasus Asia, which will be focused on technology-enabled new economy sectors that have operations in Asia-Pacific, Bloomberg reported. These could include fintech, proptech, insurtech and digital services.

In November, Singapore buyout firm Novo Tellus Capital Partners also applied to list a Spac. The technology- and industrials-focused firm is planning to raise between $200 million and $250 million through an IPO of the blank cheque company, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

Additional reporting by The Straits Times.

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