Temasek-owned Vertex said to be weighing S'pore's first Spac listing

Vertex Holdings is planning to raise funds for deal-making by listing a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) in Singapore, which could be the country's first such deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

The venture capital holdings company owned by Temasek is working with advisers on the potential Spac initial public offering, said the people, asking not to be named as the process is private.

Details of the blank-cheque company, including size and timeline, have not been finalised, pending listing guidelines by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the sources said.

A representative for Vertex declined to comment.

SGX consulted the market on a framework for Spac listings earlier this year, as it prepares to compete in one of the hottest capital market trends in the past year against its regional rivals, including Hong Kong.

Singapore has proposed a minimum $300 million market capitalisation threshold for listing a blank-cheque company as well as a more stringent requirement than the US for warrants and share redemption.

Singapore could see its first Spac listing this year if it gets enough support from the industry, SGX chief executive Loh Boon Chye told Bloomberg News in an interview in February.

Spacs raise money from investors and then look to acquire another business, usually a private one, within a designated timeframe.

A growing number of Asia-based funds and financiers have been setting up blank-cheque companies in the United States with the aim of snapping up a target in the fast-growing region.

Allowing blank-cheque listing could be seen as a way to revive investor interest in Singapore's stock market, which has struggled to attract big-ticket initial public offerings over the past few years.

Vertex operates six funds with assets under management worth more than US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion), according to its website. The company's active investments include South-east Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings, crypto exchange Binance Holdings and Horizon Robotics, a Chinese artificial intelligence-chip start-up backed by Intel Capital.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2021, with the headline 'Temasek-owned Vertex said to be weighing S'pore's first Spac listing'. Subscribe