2020, the Year of the SPAC

SIFMA Insights Spotlight: Explaining SPACs and Analyzing Issuance Trends

With the number of IPOs down over the last few years as companies stay private longer, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have grown in popularity as another tool to access capital.

This trend accelerated in 2020, with the turbulent economic times forcing companies to search for liquidity. SPACs have already had their biggest year to date, with $22.2B deal value through July – an increase of 65% year over year. As we look at the COVID-19 issuance recovery path, we find:

  • Secondaries ($50.8B in May, +283% vs. start of year);
  • IPOs ($14.7B in June, +414% vs. start of year); and
  • SPACs ($10.3B in July, +599% vs. start of year).

In this spotlight report, we define SPACs, analyze issuance trends, and compare SPACs to IPOs and secondary offerings.





Katie Kolchin, CFA
Director of Research
SIFMA Insights