In late October 2020, hedge fund analyst Maya Botti was evaluating the decision to vote for the proposed merger of Forum Merger IIa special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), with Ittella International, a plant-based food company; if the SPAC shareholders voted in favor of the merger, Botti also had to recommend that the hedge fund’s leadership redeem the hedge fund’s shares in Forum II, sell the shares in the open market, or continue as shareholders of the merged company. The case provides an opportunity to discuss SPACs, including their structure; key players and participants in them; and their risks, rewards, and potential pitfalls. The case also provides an opportunity to discuss differences between regular IPOs and to compare and contrast IPOs to SPACs.
This case can be taught in a second-year elective course on capital markets, financial institutions, and markets or capital raising. It can fit in a module that explores financial engineering and instruments such as collateralized debt obligations or that discusses ways of going public and contrasting them with regular IPOs.