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SPACs: post-merger survival

Milos Vulanovic (Department of Finance, EDHEC Business School, Roubaix, France)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to study how institutional characteristics of specified purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are related to their post-merger survival. SPACs are unique financial firms that conduct the initial public offering (IPO) with the sole purpose of using the proceeds to acquire another private company. The paper finds that institutional characteristics of SPACs are important in determining post-merger outcomes of new company, specifically when it comes to their survival/failure, i.e., increases in pre-merger commitment by SPAC stakeholders and initial positive market performance increase post-merger survival likelihood; on the contrary, mergers with higher transaction costs and focused on foreign companies exhibit increased likelihood of failure.


Using unique sample of companies conducting an IPO, namely, SPACs, with the sole purpose to execute an acquisition in the future date within limited time, this paper presents additional evidence on the survival and acquisition frequency of IPOs, and determinants of these choices.


Observing unique set of specified purpose companies, this paper documents that SPACs’ failure rate is at the level of 58.09 percent, higher than any previously reported failure rate in the post-IPO survival literature and comparable only to failure rates found by Hensler et al. (1997) at 55.10 percent for general companies. In addition, the paper documents similar findings to Bhabra and Pettway (2003) that prospectus and market characteristics of original companies have predictive power with respect to survival.


This study extends the literature on post-IPO survival in following ways. First, the paper documents survival rates for unique set of companies organized with the sole purpose to acquire another company. Second, the paper presents evidence on how institutional characteristics of SPAC determine their post-merged outcomes, specifically when it comes to their failures. Finally, paper contributes to the scant literature on SPACs providing new evidence on their post-merger outcomes and performance.



Vulanovic, M. (2017), "SPACs: post-merger survival", Managerial Finance, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 679-699.



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