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Goldman Sachs Forms Hong Kong SPAC Team for Asia Deal Boom

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign displayed at Goldman Sachs reception in Sydney

By Scott Murdoch and Kane Wu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs (NYSE 🙂 has put together a team of SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) bankers in Hong Kong to focus on a run of these blank check deals in Asia.

The initiative was launched towards the end of last year – but was not reported – when the SPACs in Asia began launching in other countries, including the US, following the rapid growth of these deals.

A SPAC typically raises money to buy a private company in order to take it public. This allows such targets to reach the public markets faster than a conventional IPO.

Raghav Maliah, Global Vice President of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs, leads the Hong Kong-based team, which also includes Vikram Chavali and Edward Byun.

“We are seeing a variety of capital markets and M&A activity across the region, including increased involvement of SPAC in both the IPO and M&A fronts,” Maliah said in an interview with Reuters.

“SPACs have become an incrementally relevant product to be considered when considering ways to achieve their goals.”

Chavali, Managing Director, Investment Banking, covers the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors for Goldman Sachs in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan.

Byun is a managing director of Equity Capital Markets (ECM) specializing in TMT and high-growth sectors in the region. Goldman’s team of specialists is unlike most other investment banks operating in Asia who perform SPAC work primarily through their ECM businesses.

In Asia, SPAC business volumes are far behind those in the USA.

So far, SPAC deals worth $ 2.64 billion have been closed in Asia in 2021, which is more than $ 2.46 billion for 2020, according to Dealogic data.

Globally, there have been $ 79.3 billion in SPAC emissions since the start of the year, almost dwarfing the total of $ 83.3 billion raised for 2020, according to Dealogic data.

Citigroup (NYSE 🙂 is the most active SPAC bookrunner with a global market share of 14%, ahead of Goldman Sachs with 12% and Swiss credit (SIX 🙂 at 9% based on Dealogic data.

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