SPAC Lock-Up Expirations to Watch in March 2023
by Nicholas Alan Clayton on 2023-03-01 at 5:52pm

SPACs head into spring with a relatively short list of SPAC sponsors and de-SPAC’d companies reaching the end of their post-deal lock-ups. It is a highly international crop, however, with three of the seven companies newly freed to trade operating out of Asia.

Eight sponsors are to see their lock-ups expire as well. FirstMark Horizon and Motive are the only of the eight sponsors being released this month separately from their target company partners, with FirstMark freed to trade its promote shares in Starry (OTC:STRY) on March 28 and Motive able to move Forge Global (NYSE:FRGE) stock on March 21.

FirstMark likely wishes it had been freed to do so when Starry shareholders did, however. Things were not going swimmingly when Starry’s company lock-up ended on September 28 – it opened at $1.65 – but things have been downhill from there.

The internet service provider, whose closing was the first in years to trigger the SPAC’s Crescent Term, found itself short of cash and gradually retreating from some markets where it had deployed before the deal. On February 21, it announced it was entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure its debt just under a year out from the deal’s close. Its now pink-listed shares closed Tuesday at $0.0067.

The sides with the most to gain from their lock-ups expiring are the sponsors and company shareholders connected to the de-SPACing of coffee shop chain Tims China (NASDAQ:THCH) and Singaporean real estate marketplace PropertyGuru (NYSE:PGRU). Tims China closed Tuesday at $4.74 and PropertyGuru at $4.83.

Both also disclosed interesting news as well, with Tims China merging with the exclusive franchisee of the Popeyes fried chicken chain in China. PropertyGuru meanwhile announced earlier today that it exceeded the EBITDA guidance laid out in its announcement materials for 2022 with about $10.7 million in adjusted EBITDA from about $101.3 million in revenue.

Both sides of the PropertyGuru transaction are to be released to trade on March 17, while the Tims China parties are to be unlocked on March 29.

The first lock-up to expire is that for both Arqit Quantum (NASDAQ:ARQQ) and the Centricus team that took them public. Arqit hit a post-close high of $41.45 in November 2021, but has slumped since and saw its highest-volume selling days in early February 2023 ahead of a $20 million direct offering of 10,000,000 shares.

That timing was less than ideal for the dealmakers set to be released from lockups on March 3 as the stock closed Tuesday at $1.24. But, it should be no problem for investors looking to stay long on the quantum encryption firm.

To see when the lock-ups for all closed SPAC transactions are expiring, check out SPACInsider‘s Lock-Up Table for Companies here and Sponsors here.

MARCH LOCK-UPS

 

 

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