IBIS Capital, the boutique investment bank, has floated its second special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) on the Nasdaq stock exchange, the latest in a chorus of blank-cheque companies eyeing deals in the education and training sector.

Edtech X Holdings Acquisition Corp. II will begin trading today, once US markets open, under the symbol EDTXU.

The initial public offering of the SPAC, on which Jefferies is the sole book runner while Macquarie Capital is lead manager, will raise up to $100 million.

According to a prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the SPAC will seek to sign a deal with a company in the private education, training and ed tech sectors with an enterprise value of between $400 million and $2 billion.

It will look at businesses in the US, Europe and Asia, excluding China.

SPACs have this year exploded in popularity as an alternative way of taking companies public via so-called reverse mergers, which involve less hassle and lower fees than a traditional IPO.

A SPAC is a shell company which raises funds via an IPO then has a mandate to acquire a company, usually within two years of listing, and the target organisation becomes publicly traded as a result.

IBIS Capital, a London-based investment bank founded by Charles McIntyre, launched its first SPAC, Edtech X Holdings Acquisition Corp, in October 2018, when it floated at $10 per share.

In March, that SPAC bought Meten, a China-based language-training provider, and its share price climbed to $17 but is now $2.26 – 77% lower than the IPO value.

Date published: 11 December 2020

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