Macau casino mogul Lawrence Ho is looking to expand his “entertainment and lifestyle” portfolio after an entity linked to his private investment vehicle Black Spade Capital Ltd filed for a SPAC listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
According to details announced in the filing, Black Spade Asia Acquisition has partnered with BOCHK Asset Management, a subsidiary of Bank of China Hong Kong, in seeking to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange, making it the 11th SPAC – or Special Purpose Acquisition Company – to do so since the exchange began accepting such listings in January.
It is also the second such venture undertaken by Ho after his United States-based SPAC, Black Spade Capital, raised US$169 million via an IPO last June.
Viewed as a faster and easier way to raise capital over traditional IPOs, SPAC listings have become hugely popular in the United States in recent years – providing investors with a readymade war chest from which to acquire assets or companies via merger.
Philippines integrated resort Okada Manila, via its operator Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment Inc (TRLEI), is currently in the process of merging with a SPAC entity called 26 Capital Acquisition Corp with listing of the new combined entity on the NASDAQ expected to be complete by June 2022.
Under Hong Kong’s SPAC rules, listed SPACs must raise at least HK$1 billion (US$128 million) via an IPO and announce a merger or takeover deal within 24 months.
In announcing its request, Black Spade Asia Acquisition said it is looking to link with a company that is “related to, or is in the entertainment, lifestyle and health care industry” in the Greater China area.
Ho, recently ranked number 46 on the Forbes list of Hong Kong’s richest people in 2022 with a US$1.3 billion fortune, is also Chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, whose Macau integrated resort portfolio includes City of Dreams, Studio City and Altira Macau. It also operates City of Dreams Manila and is developing the largest IR in Europe, City of Dreams Mediterranean, in Cyprus.
Listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange has been touted as a possible option for Melco Resorts amid concerns over the future of its US listing due to new regulations governing certain foreign companies that were adopted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January.