Mexico City - Miami — Maquia Capital Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: MAQC), a $175 million special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), began trading in the Mexican stock market as of this Thursday through the International Quotation System (SIC) on Mexico’s Bolsa Institucional de Valores (BIVA) .
The blank check company, which went public on Nasdaq in February 2021, will be listed on the local exchange with a price of $10.19 per unit, which is around MX$200 at the close of the exchange rate on Wednesday.
Maquia is targeting technology-focused exponential growth companies operating globally and, with its Miami-based office, seeks to provide U.S. investors with access to investment opportunities that otherwise would not be available.
“I left the public market in 2016 to join the private sector, simply because I felt the public sector was shrinking,” said Jeff Ransdell, founding partner of Maquia. Ransdell previously worked at Merrill Lynch in New York, and since he left Wall Street, he founded Fuel Venture Capital in Miami, which invests in early and later stage companies.
SPACs have been all the rage in the U.S. in recent years, but in Mexico they are still an emerging trend, and Maquia is only the seventh SPAC in the country. 80% of Maquia’s operations take place outside of Mexico, Ransdell told Bloomberg Línea.
SPACs have become more popular because companies are staying private longer and investors are looking for a way in.
Maquia has not yet had its first merger. Ransdell said he also considers companies in Fuel’s portfolio, but that’s just the beginning.
Randsell and his business partner, Guillermo Cruz, COO of Maquia, evaluate around 5,000 companies each year, and this year they have narrowed it down to 37 companies. It seems that the first SPAC’s merger is just around the corner, but the company did not disclose the name.
“On the private sector, the biggest challenge is finding the exit”Jeff Ransdell
Maquia looks for companies that meet the following criteria: valuation between $400-700 million, with worldwide operations, a successful scale model, that meets a specific need, that can be replicated in other locations, and where unit economics are growing globally.
In terms of sectors, Maquia is looking for marketplaces, fintechs, and SaaS. Traditionally, marketplaces are one of the hardest tech sectors to succeed in, because entrepreneurs have to sell to both sides; but if done right, they can be extremely financially rewarding.
“There is a lot of competition in the market, so we have to be careful. We generally like marketplaces that are very niche”, said Guillermo Cruz. Their first merger looks like it’s around the corner, and while he didn’t disclose the name, he did mention that it’s a telecommunications marketplace based in Brazil.
While this is Ransdell’s first SPAC, Guillermo Cruz is at it for the second time. In January 2021 he launched his first SPAC in Mexico, Benessere Capital, worth $115 million.
Looking for the first SPAC with double listing through BIVA
Maquia Capital has another plan: to pave the way so that, in the next two years, the first double listing for a SPAC on BIVA can be launched both in Mexico and the United States.
“We are structuring a way in which they are not listed through one exchange, we would like a double listing,” said Cruz, who believes that the second Mexican stock exchange can give them better exposure to investors from both countries.
They seek to belong directly to the stock market in Mexico and the United States to attract investors from both countries and bring a better appetite for the investment vehicle.
Both Cruz, as his peer in Maquia México, Jerónimo Peralta, are firm believers in SPACs and call themselves Serial SPAC Managers. Both agree that one of the objectives of the next vehicle is to increase the number of projects in Mexican and Latin American companies by 70-80%.
Until now, in Mexico, there has only been two events in which a SPAC debuted in the local market. Vista Oil & Gas in 2017 and Promecap in 2018.
“We believe that the Mexican market, both the public market and the market for potential objectives of our SPACs, is becoming very attractive”Jerónimo Peralta
A SPAC is an instrument that aims to raise capital to buy companies of a particular area or sector, and the value is determined by the expectations of investors.
Each unit or share of a SPAC is also accompanied by a warrant that grants the right to acquire an additional unit.
It is expected that, at the end of September or mid-October, Maquia Capital will announce the projects of the selected company. With this, the value of the SPAC is also expected to experience greater fluctuation.
“The value can fluctuate a bit more. When the final transaction is carried out, it is no longer our vehicle and the behavior is towards the acquired company”, said Peralta.