Lakestar’s Klaus Hommels Latest To Join SPAC Craze In Europe – pymnts.com


Klaus Hommels, founder of venture capital firm Lakestar, launched a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on Wed. (Feb. 17), Lakestar SPAC I SE, with the goal of buying a tech company in Europe.

The Luxembourg-based SPAC will list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the name LRSW on Monday (Feb. 22). Hommels aims to raise 275 million euros, or $331 million, from the listing.

“As the European ecosystem matures, it becomes more and more visible that a true European support system is missing to promote, challenge and foster local innovators from their very early stages to the public markets,” the Lakestar SPAC’s website reads. “Lakestar is stepping in by offering its expertise to European technology entrepreneurs.”

The SPAC will focus on acquiring a company that specializes in FinTech, health tech, software as a service (SaaS), transportation and logistics or deep tech, according to a press release.

Europe has been slow to join the SPAC boom that’s trending in the U.S. PYMNTS previously reported that 248 SPACs went public in the U.S. alone in 2020, raising $83.4 billion, citing SPAC Research data.

Meanwhile, just three SPACs went public in Europe in 2020, bringing in $495 million, CNBC reported. CNBC also noted that the structure is typically different across the pond, although Hommels’ SPAC plans to follow a U.S. structure.

Thus far in 2021, one SPAC has listed in Europe in Amsterdam, which looks to be the continent’s center of SPAC listings, PYMNTS reported earlier.

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“It’s a flexible, international jurisdiction and relatively straightforward place to list,” Nick Koemtzopoulos, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa equity capital markets at Credit Suisse, told FT. “You have flexibility on the terms of the SPAC to be able to replicate the U.S.”

SPACs generally offer a better rate of return on investment, PYMNTS has reported, but if the firm doesn’t acquire a company within its set time frame — in Lakestar SPAC’s case, two years — the company is liquidated.

Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley served as the global coordinators of the Lakestar SPAC I SE listing, according to CNBC.

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