Social Capital IV (NYSE:IPOD) and Social Capital VI (NYSE:IPOF) each announced in 8-K filings this morning that they intend to not complete business combinations and will instead liquidate their trusts on October 17.
Both SPACs are led by serial sponsor and prominent SPAC advocate Chamath Palihapitiya, which makes the moves a telling sign of the difficulties inherent in getting a deal done in the current market. Shares for both SPACs will cease trading on October 14 and shareholders are expected to receive their pro rata share of the trust estimated at $10.01 per share by October 17.
Palihapitiya’s SPACs have completed six combinations since 2019, but, owing to their tech-heavy focus these de-SPACs have produced collective returns -48.1% as of the market’s last close. Many of these companies hit stunning highs in headier market days, like space tourism venture Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE), which hit a high of $60.67 in February 2021 and SoFi (NASDAQ:SOFI), which hit $26.97 shortly after its January 2021 close. At least some of this market enthusiasm has been attributable to Palihapitiya’s large profile and popularity among retail investors.
Palihapitiya appeared on track to cover the full alphabet with his sequential SPAC tickers from IPOA to IPOZ and he even dipped into biotech with four SPACs listed with co-sponsor Suvretta Capital carrying tickers with the same inherently ambitious tickers DNAA, DNAB, DNAC, and DNAD. The first signs that momentum may have been shifting came as Social Capital Suvretta III saw 91.3% redemptions as it de-SPAC’d biopharm company ProKidney (NASDAQ:PROK) in July and Social Capital Suvretta I saw 99.1% redemptions a month later in closing with Akili (NASDAQ:AKLI).
The liquidation of IPOD and IPOF now puts some focus on DNAB and DNAD, which are the last remaining Palihapitiya-backed SPACs currently searching. They still have more time on their side with transaction deadlines not coming up until July 2023, which could well be enough time to complete transactions in a more favorable market. And, ProKidney is after all trading healthily above $10 despite the market slump.
Nonetheless, the liquidations appear to sound the end of an era with the current SPAC cycle coming to a grinding conclusion as a new one sets to begin in 2023.