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Real Estate: Goodbye Spacs, hello Spreits

Spacs convert to special-purpose Reits as time runs out to invest; Hedge funds profit from their demise

Brian Hoffmann, Clifford Chance

"Given that the Reit market is relatively hot and Reit IPOs are getting done, it makes more sense to convert to a Reit than to acquire a business that would have to have all its financials reviewed by the SEC"

Brian Hoffmann, Clifford Chance

Spacs (special purpose acquisition companies), which gained momentum in the bull market, were never very popular at the best of times. With very little in the way of special purposes to invest in and time almost up on their investment deadlines, they look even less appealing. And so sponsors of Spacs are reinventing their vehicles as Spreits – special purpose Reits. Brian Hoffmann, co-head of Clifford Chance’s M&A group in New York, says he has spent a good portion of this year advising on such conversions. Spacs are blind pools of money raised through public listings that have a limited period in which to acquire other companies. Investors are essentially counting on the entrepreneurial skills of the sponsors. If deals are not made within the time frame, the sponsor has to return all the cash to the investors.

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