Temasek’s Vertex weighs Singapore’s first Spac listing

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SINGAPORE – Vertex Holdings is planning to raise funds for dealmaking 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 Holdings is working with advisers on the potential Spac initial public offering, said the people, asking to be named as the process is private.

Details of the blank-check company including size and timeline haven’t been finalised, pending listing guidelines by Singapore exchange, the people said.

A representative for Vertex declined to comment.

The city-state’s exchange 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 S$300 million (US$223 million) market capitalisation threshold for listing a blank-check 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, Loh Boon Chye, the exchange’s chief executive officer, told Bloomberg News in an interview in February.

Spacs raise from investors and then look to acquire another business, usually a private one, within a designated time frame. A number of Asia-based funds and financiers have been setting up blank-check companies in the US with the aim of snapping up a target in the fast-growing region.

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

Vertex operates six funds with assets under management worth more than US$5 billion, according to its website. The company’s active investments include Southeast Asia ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings, crypto exchange Binance Holdings and Horizon Robotics, a Chinese artificial intelligence-chip startup backed by Intel Capital.

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