Shuaa to liquidate $100m Spac amid market uncertainty

Dubai investment bank listed special purpose acquisition company on Nasdaq last year

Photo: Shuaa
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Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital is liquidating its Nasdaq-listed $100 million special purpose acquisition company, amid uncertain market conditions.

The company’s board has approved the liquidation of the Spac vehicle set up last year, Shuaa said in a regulatory filing on Monday, to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Shuaa has decided “not to proceed further with finding a target entity considering current market conditions”, it said.

Shuaa Partners Acquisition Corp I was listed on Nasdaq in March last year.

The first of three planned Spac vehicles by Shuaa, it was launched following the investment bank’s participation in the Anghami transaction that involved the listing of the music streaming company in New York through a Spac merger.

Shuaa Spac was looking to acquire technology and tech-enabled financial services growth businesses based in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region, the company said at the time.

A Spac is a vehicle with no commercial operations and is formed with the intention of raising funds through an initial public offering and then acquiring an existing company.

Spacs have lighter disclosure requirements than IPOs and have been increasingly used over the past two years to take fast-growing companies public quickly.

However, slowing global growth and mounting geopolitical tensions have given rise to uncertainty in global equity markets that has dented the appetite for Spac deals.

In the UAE, ADC Acquisition Corporation, a Spac set up by Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ and private investment firm Chimera Investments, has seen more success.

ADC agreed to acquire Abu Dhabi-based United Printing and Publishing, in what was the region's first Spac merger deal, the company said in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in September.

UPP received Dh1.1 billion ($299 million) of new cash from ADC under the deal, which valued UPP at Dh600 million, ADC said at the time.

Updated: November 14, 2023, 9:34 AM