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Shareholders back Lakestar SPAC merger with Germany's HomeToGo

By Reuters

By Douglas Busvine

BERLIN -Shareholders on Monday unanimously backed a merger between listed shell company Lakestar SPAC I and German travel tech startup HomeToGo, although proceeds from the deal were reduced by investor redemptions.

As a result of the transaction, Berlin-based HomeToGo will receive a 250 million euro ($295 million) cash injection from the special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, promoted by venture capitalist Klaus Hommels.

Hommels launched Germany’s first SPAC https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lakestar-spac-idUSKBN2AH1UJ on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in February, offering an alternative route to market for local startups to listing in the United States, where such blank-cheque companies are well established.

The Lakestar SPAC raised 275 million euros via the listing in February, and when the merger deal was announced https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hometogo-m-a-lakestar-idUSKBN2EK25H in July investors agreed to put in a further 75 million euros through a private placement.

Investors who back a SPAC have the opportunity to redeem their bets at the issue price before a merger deal is finalised. In Lakestar’s case, 36.6% of shares were returned, the SPAC said in a statement.

Shares in Lakestar SPAC I never clearly broke through their 10 euro offer price, indicating a possible lack of enthusiasm among investors at its choice of merger target. They were marked down 1.4% on Monday at 9.69 euros.

Still, Lakestar said the redemption rate was “very low” compared to recent SPAC deals in the United States, where market euphoria around the mechanism has faded of late.

“The resounding vote at today’s Extraordinary General Meeting and the very low redemption rate highlight the attractiveness of the asset we are combining with,” said Stefan Winners, CEO of Lakestar SPAC I.

The merger deal, which puts an equity value on HomeToGo of around 1.2 billion euros, is expected to close by the end of the month. The listed entity, to be called HomeToGo SE, is expected to trade in Frankfurt under the ‘HTG’ ticker.

($1 = 0.8485 euros)