SPACs vs. IPOs

A Look at Year-to-Date Issuance Compared to Historical Trends

SIFMA Insights - Capital Formation

Last year, we wrote a note explaining the basics of special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) and analyzing issuance trends, titled SIFMA Insights Spotlight: 2020, the Year of the SPAC. At the rate 2021 issuance is going, this could be the new year of the SPAC.

In this report, we analyze year-to-date issuance trends for SPACs versus traditional initial public offerings (IPO), comparing current to historical trends.

Key Takeaways

  • SPACs: YTD (as of end Feb) issuance $60.2B, 73.0% of 2020 total (# deals 189, 76.2% of 2020); February 2021 at $34.9B (# deals 98) is 137.6% of January total, January $25.3B (# deals 91)
  • IPOs: YTD issuance $24.3B, 28.6% of 2020 total (# deals 59, 28.2% of 2020); February 2021 at $9.3B (# deals 32) is 61.5% of January total, January $15.1B (# deals 27)
  • Issuance trends ebb and flow with market turmoil/crises; for the past few years pre COVID, we saw similar SPAC and IPO patterns; this broke down last year with SPACs +510.6% Y/Y vs. IPOs 74.6%




Katie Kolchin, CFA
Director of Research
SIFMA Insights