A special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is a company without commercial operations formed solely to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) or to merge with or acquire an existing company. Sometimes called “blank check companies,” SPACs have been around for decades, but their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2020, 247 SPACs with $80 billion invested were created, and 2021 saw a record 613 SPAC IPOs. By comparison, 2019 saw only 59 SPACs hit the market. During the 2020-2021 SPAC boom, the business model attracted well-known names including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse as well as many retired or semi-retired senior executives (source 2). However, while SPACs are still happening, their popularity is likely cyclical, as evidenced by the wind-down of many SPACs at the end of 2022 (source 8). Whether a SPAC completes a deal or not, there are still risks to be carefully considered.