The cruise industry is now getting into the SPAC market.
If you don’t know what those are it stands for a Special Purpose Acquisition Company. These are the financial/stock mechanism that allows a publicly traded company without any operations or assets (referred to as a blank check company) to buy another fully established, already in operation company. That ‘blank check’ company is a publicly traded company that uses the stock market to raise capital. That way, when the SPAC buys the other company, it injects them with a large cash infusion that it was able to raise.
Some high profile companies that went this route were Draft Kings, Virgin Galactic, ChargePoint, Nikola and Lucid.
While it’s been around since the 80’s it really only took off early last year just as lockdown was in full-swing. It soared in popularity with billions of dollars being invested in these companies even before it was announced what company they were going to buy. By all signs, it was a bubble. The driving force of this was the rise of retail trading via apps like Robinhood and WeBull.
In early-to-mid 2021 however the bottom dropped out and stocks for SPACS were rarely trading above $10.
Today it was announced that a special purpose acquisition company called Ausonia Cruise Holdings was set up. Their aim is to follow the above model and buy a privately held cruise line, maritime company, or some sort of passenger ship operation.
According to their website, they describe themselves as:
Ausonia Cruise Holdings brings together a team of experienced finance professionals and leisure operating executives.
Our aim is to develop ‘Special Purpose Acquisition Companies’ incorporated for the purpose of effecting a merger, asset acquisition, or similar business combination with one or more entities. Our disciplined and highly selective approach to investing in the cruise industry is both uncommon and inspiring. We make efficient decisions that are in the best long-term interest of our principals, free from any external influences. It allows us to be flexible with transaction structures, enabling us to craft the right deal to help all stakeholders achieve their goals.
We expect to focus on cruise, yachting or ferry-related businesses that have attractive growth-oriented characteristics and strong underlying drivers. As we focus our efforts on identifying prospective target companies, we seek to capitalize on the decades of combined experience of our board of directors.