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Acorns cancels $2.2bn SPAC debut amid weak market

By Robert Davis

17:59, 18 January 2022

The man introduces a block with a word SPAC into a row of blocks.
Acorns cancelled their SPAC deal with Pioneer Merger - Photo: Shutterstock

American financial services company Acorns has cancelled its planned public debut via a merger with blank-cheque company Pioneer Merger, according to new filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The termination agreement, dated 3 January, requires Acorns to reimburse between $15m (£11.04m) and $17.5m of expenses incurred by Pioneer after the companies entered into a merger agreement last May. The total amount due is based on certain conditions and must be paid in full by December 2022, the agreement says.

Acorns CEO Noah Kerner told in a statement that the company’s partnership with Pioneer “exceeded expectations,” but that Acorns is “pivoting to a private capital raise at a higher pre-money valuation as we continue on our path to 10 million paid subscribers saving and investing for a better future.”

Jonathan Christodoro, chair for Pioneer, added the company continues to see Acorns as both a “category leader but also a category creator,” even though the deal fell apart.

“Its value proposition is built around inclusive, long-term financial wellness that we believe will continue to compound over time,” Christodoro said.

Previous merger deal

The two entities previously agreed to take Acorns public via a merger in May 2021 in a deal that gave Acorns a more than $2bn valuation.

At the time, Kerner said the deal was an important step toward “getting wealth-building tools into everyone’s hands as fast as possible.”

According to PitchBook, Irving, California-based Acorns has a long list of A-list investors. Some of which include investment firm BlackRock, actress Jennifer Lopez and actor Ashton Kutcher.

Agreement details

According to the termination agreement, Pioneer will continue to seek a business combination with another entity.


44,025.25 Price
-0.060% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00


16,080.90 Price
+0.500% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 7.0

Oil - Crude

71.41 Price
+2.320% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0204%
Short position overnight fee -0.0015%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.030


2,004.85 Price
-1.180% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0198%
Short position overnight fee 0.0116%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.50

However, if it is unsuccessful after 24 months, the company will roll up its operations and cease to exist, the agreement says.

It also contains clauses which prevent both parties from suing one another for any claims related to the termination.

SPAC market weakness

Acorns’ cancelled debut comes amid a flurry of other companies cancelling their plans to go public via the same route.

Overall, more than 17 mergers were cancelled during the second half of 2021 at an estimated value of more than $37bn, according to data from Dealogic. So far, 2022 has proven to be much of the same.

For example, Fast Acquisition and Tillman Fertitta’s namesake company Fertitta Entertainment cancelled their plans to go public back in December.

At the time, Fertitta told National Restaurant News deal would allow his company to focus on organic growth as it plots its path for the future.

BBQGuys, a company backed by Peyton and Eli Manning, also cancelled its public debut recently because of supply chain factors that are inhibiting the business’ growth.

Read more: Stocks vs trusts: which is best for dividend income?

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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