Irish-led ‘blank check’ firm decides to liquidate

North Atlantic Acquisition Corporation had listed in New York two years ago

An Irish-led so-called blank check company that floated in New York two years ago has decided to liquidate itself after failing to secure a follow-up deal following the collapse of an agreed $1.74 billion (€1.76 billion) tie-up last the summer amid volatile equity markets

Known as a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) or blank check firm, North Atlantic Acquisition Corporation (NAAC), founded by Irish packaging industry veteran Patrick Doran and corporate financier Gary Quin.

NAAC raised $380 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in January 2021 with a view to acquiring an operating company that was seeking a stock market listing within two years.

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It agreed in late 2021 to merge with Telesign, a digital identity verification company owned by Brussels-based Proximus, in a $1.74 billion deal. However, that was called off in June.


NAAC had been planning to hold an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday to secure additional six months to conclude a fresh deal.

However, NAAC said on the day of the planned meeting that the board had decided to dissolve and liquidate the company, after failing to secure a deal. Shareholders’ stock will be redeemed at a price of $10.13.

Spacs have been a periodic feature of international stock markets for more than three decades, but were one of the hottest crazes on Wall Street in 2020 and 2021. They fell out of favour last year amid declining stock markets and rising oversight of this area by US regulators.

SPAC Research estimates that nearly 70 US Spacs liquidated and returned money to investors in December alone, after failing to close a deal.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times