One trend that emerged this year was the rediscovery of the special purpose acquisition company, sometimes called a blank check company. So far, 178 SPACs have launched this year, according to SPACInsider, compared with 59 last year and 46 the year before. There are many factors driving SPACs’ newfound popularity—factors that are appealing to the commercial real estate industry as well. In recent months a handful of CRE SPAC offerings have come to the market, the latest being Tishman Speyer’s $300 million SPAC, which closes today. 

To get into why and which CRE companies are tapping into this model, a brief explanation of what they are may be in order for some. SPACs allow companies to go public by bypassing the traditional IPO process. They are publicly-traded shell companies that are formed to pursue deals in the private sector by raising capital in an IPO and then searching out acquisition targets. The acquired companies then use the SPAC to sell shares to the public.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.

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