Goldman Sachs retreating from SPACs over regulatory threat

David Solomon’s Goldman Sachs is reducing its involvement with blank-check companies, a spokesperson for the bank said on Monday, as US regulators continue to clamp down on what was one of the hottest trends on Wall Street in recent years.

The boom in the special purpose acquisition company (SPACs) market had been a boon for Goldman’s investment banking business. However, tightening scrutiny from the US securities watchdog and saturated investor sentiment has led to a sharp decline in SPAC issuance.

In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission unveiled a draft rule that would require SPACs to disclose more details about their sponsors, their compensation, conflicts of interest and share dilution.

Fears of the fallout from interest rate hikes and uncertainty over the Ukraine conflict have also added to the SPAC market’s woes.

Goldman will also pause working on new SPAC issuance in the United States for now, according to Bloomberg Law, which first reported the bank’s plans.

SPACs are shell companies that raise funds through a listing to merge with a private company and take it public, allowing the target to sidestep the stiffer regulatory scrutiny of a traditional initial public offering.