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Mobility SPACs making moves in Europe

SPACs are in abundance and have money to burn, and what better place to invest that cash than Europe's high-growth urban mobility space? Given the cash shells' penchant for everything tech and the sustainability credentials of this promising sector, it's a perfect match.

One illustrative deal last month saw Israel-founded, London-based mobility platform Gett announce plans to merge with SPAC Rosecliff Acquisition Corp I at an implied US$1 billion enterprise value, in what could be the first of more to come.

There have only been 38 SPAC IPOs in EMEA this year, worth a combined US$7.6 billion, and 24 are still looking for a target. But add to that the 538 US SPACs that are searching far and wide for a target and Europe's mobility sector could be in the frame for more de-SPACs like Gett.

Stock options 

According to Dealogic’s LTI (“likely to issue”) predictive algorithm platform, Estonia's Bolt Technology ranks as the fifth most likely company to exit across the entire tech sector. The company is already understood to be expanding its investor relations team ahead of a potential listing in 2022 and sources have told Mergermarket that a SPAC could be on the cards if the PIPE market finds its feet.

Other names likely to come to market at the intersection of transportation and technology include French car sharing app Blablacar, Spanish taxi hailing app Cabify, German scooter firm Tier and Swedish peer Voi.

Winging it 

Even with the attractive stock of mobility companies on offer in Europe, there is no guarantee that SPACs will come knocking or that these companies will choose this route to market if they do.

As mentioned, European SPACs are in short supply and their US counterparts, while abundant, may think twice before venturing across the pond trying to pitch unfamiliar deals to investors. SPAC redemptions have been surging in recent weeks, cash being pulled out of cash shells en masse when deal targets are announced, as investors have second thoughts.

Even hyped mergers are proving to be underwhelming in the short term. US-based scooter firm Bird took the SPAC ride last month when it completed a merger with Switchback II Corporation at an implied US$2.3 billion valuation. At the time of writing, Bird's market cap is US$1.77 billion and its share price has traded down pretty sharply in the four weeks since listing.

In time, the company may find its wings, but it may not augur well for the potential of European peers fast-tracking their access to US stock markets using SPACs.

Mobility players possibly ready for a SPAC ride