AMAFI is part of the Paris Europlace working group on the attractiveness of the Paris financial centre, whose aim is to talk about the main regulatory, legal and tax obstacles that interfere with the centre’s appeal. Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and initial public offerings (IPOs) are among the key concerns for the group, which may propose recommendations where appropriate.
SPACs are listed companies created to carry out one or more acquisitions, whose target may not be known when the SPAC is listed. The funds raised are kept in order to finance the subsequent acquisition of a company that, once acquired, will be listed without an IPO. In the post-Brexit environment, and given the appetite for and rise in SPACs (illustrated by two recent listings in France), which can help to improve a financial centre’s appeal, these issues are taking on real significance and deserve close attention. While a first reading suggests that French law may be used to duplicate the standard features of SPACs as developed in the USA, the AMF recently highlighted several points that represent a starting point for work in this regard.