In under 60 days, three Utah firms have now successfully formed Special Purpose Acquisition Companies and raised over $550 million in total, each with plans to identify and merge with existing operating companies, the first ever SPACs based in Utah

In a move likely to surprise most within the greater Utah business community, one of Utah's most successful venture capital firms, Cottonwood Heights-based Mercato Partners, quietly raised $200 million this morning via an Initial Public Offering.

Mercato's plans came to light in mid-October when it filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange unveiling its plans to raise money into a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (aka, a SPAC).

According to this morning's news release announcing the IPO of Mercato Partners Acquisition Corporation (a separate corporation owned by Mercato), MPRAU sold 20 million units today at a price of $10/unit. These units are listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol MPRAU.

{NOTE: Each MPRAU unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share.}

BofA Securities, the sole book-running manager and underwriter for the IPO, was also granted a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 3,000,000 units, at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotments, if any.

If this over-allotment is exercised (which I expect it will be), MPRAU will raise an additional $30 million, gross, through its IPO.

With the monies raised through this IPO, and as explained in its Prospectus, MPRAU plans to look for potential acquisition / merger candidates in four regions of the country that it considers financially underserved:

  1. The Intermountain West,
  2. The Midwest,
  3. Southern California, and
  4. Texas.

Additionally,

"MPRAU (will)  focus (its) search for ... middle market ... companies operating in the technology or branded consumer space that are preferably disruptive or under-promoted."

So ... good on ya, Mercato and MPRAU. Good stuff!


Utah's Best Year Ever for Public Offerings? Probably So.

If you've been paying attention, readers, this marks the third SPAC IPO coming out of Utah in the last two months. And that (based upon this journalist's research), is  after never having any Utah-based SPACs ever.

Specifically, and as reported by Silicon Slopes the second week of September, Lehi-based Banner Acquisition Corporation (NasdaqCM:BNNR) launched its SPAC IPO on September 10, raising $150 million for its merger/acquisition purposes. {Here's our write-up about the Banner SPAC IPO.}

Then, a little over six week later (October 20th), Worldwide Webb Acquisition Corporation (NasdaqGM:WWACU) went public with its Blank Check company, also raising $200 million in the process. {Here's our write-up about the Webb SPAC IPO.}

And now we have the Mercato / MPRAU SPAC IPO.

In total, that's over $550 million in Utah-based M&A monies on-the-prowl for acquisition candidates.

In each instance, BofA Securities was the sole or lead underwriter on each of these three SPAC IPOs.

In addition to these three SPAC IPOs, indications are that 2021 will be one of the best years on record for Public Offerings in the state of Utah, led by Offerings from such firms as Qualtrics International, Recursion, and Sarcos Technology and Robotics, among others.

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