On 31 March 2021, the FCA announced that it intends to consult on amendments to the UK Listing Rules and related guidance to strengthen protections for investors in Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs).
The consultation will consider the structural features and enhanced disclosure required to provide appropriate investor protection. This will include:
- a minimum market capitalisation and
- a redemption option for investors
The FCA believes that its proposals will help to ensure that SPACs operate within a framework of high regulatory standards and oversight.
The most significant comment from the FCA relates to the existing presumption of suspension. The emerging view from the FCA is that the existing presumption of suspension of the listing for SPACs at the point of announcement of an acquisition target is no longer required. The consultation will proceed on that footing.
If implemented this change will mean that the UK Listing Rules will be aligned more closely with other major jurisdictions.