đź“© SPAC to sender

Thursday, September 22, 2022 by Snacks
One SPAC, two SPAC… (Brian Ach/Getty Images)

One SPAC, two SPAC… (Brian Ach/Getty Images)

One SPAC, two SPAC… (Brian Ach/Getty Images)

One SPAC, two SPAC… (Brian Ach/Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
30,184 (-1.70%)
S&P 500
3,790 (-1.71%)
11,220 (-1.79%)
$18,469 (-2.16%)

Hey Snackers,

As China’s tech crackdown continues, gaming giant Tencent received its first game-release approval in more than a year: China greenlighted “Defense of Health,” where players learn about the human body and prevent the invasion of viruses. It’s not expected to be a profit puppy.

The major US indexes all dropped over 1.7% yesterday after the Fed approved its third interest-rate hike of 75 basis points and signaled that more “jumbo” hikes are likely. US gas prices rose for the first time in 100 days after Russian President Putin declared a “partial mobilization” of 300K reservists to fight in Ukraine.


1. “SPAC King” returns cash to investors in a sign that the blank-check boom is over

Heavy is the head… that wears the SPAC crown. “SPAC King” Chamath Palihapitiya said he’s shuttering two special-purpose acquisition companies worth a combined $1.6B. Refresher: SPACs (aka: blank-check companies) are investment firms that IPO for the sole purpose of merging with real private companies to take them public (think: a more frictionless path to listing). But Palihapitiya’s recent SPACs couldn’t find merger partners by their two-year deadline:

  • Time’s up: Both SPACs will now return the funds they raised from investors. Palihapitiya himself will forfeit several million dollars he spent forming them.
  • Past results… don’t guarantee future returns. He took Virgin Galactic, SoFi, Opendoor, and Clover Health public via SPAC-quisition. Their stocks boomed last year amid social-media hype but have since fallen 75%+ from their highs.
  • Uneven returns: Palihapitiya’s firm still doubled its money thanks to insider pricing. But many of the retail investors who followed his SPAC-vestments are underwater.

Blank checks → blank stares… #SPACtivity has dwindled this year as rising rates and inflation spook investors. Last year SPACs raised more than $160B; this year they’ve raised just $13B. Overall, SPACs have lost half their value this year. In July, Bill Ackman’s $4B SPAC (the largest ever) returned its money to investors after failing to find an acquisition target.


Headless SPACs are running scared… Palihapitiya’s challenges are the tip of the iceberg. The clock’s ticking for the other 600 or so SPACs — which hold nearly $175B of investors’ cash — that are scrambling to find partners. But since many private companies are souring on public markets, and the SEC is thinking about tightening its SPAC rules, it’s looking more likely that many will have to return cash to investors in the coming months.


2. Twitch is cutting subscription paychecks for its biggest streamers as the creator economy grows more competitive

Cutting a check… literally. As the creator economy booms, Twitch wants a bigger slice of the $100B pie. The Amazon-owned platform is one of the largest live-streaming subscription sites with 30M+ daily active users and 100K streams running 24/7 (think: gaming follow-alongs). Twitch makes $$ by running ads and taking a cut from subscription sales.

  • Headline: Yesterday, Twitch announced that "premium" creators with a 70-30 subscription revenue split will receive just a 50-50 split after earning $100K.
  • Fine print: The change won't take effect till next June, and Twitch says it’ll affect only about 10% of its streamers. FYI: smaller streamers already have the 50-50 split.

24-hour “Fortnite” marathon… zero bathroom breaks. From ASMR bubble-popping to esports, live content has taken the world by storm. Live streaming has accounted for about 20% of all internet traffic this year, doubling from 2019. Nearly a quarter of 18- to 34-year-olds regularly watched live streams last year. Now sites like Twitch and YouTube are battling for the top spot.


Creators have more options than ever… Last month, Twitch got rid of its exclusivity clause for top streamers, who are frequently lured into high-paying contracts by rivals. Twitch has the most live-stream hours watched compared to rivals YouTube and Facebook, and makes up about 75% of the live market. But its new split could drive more creators to YT, which shares ad revenue 70-30 for channels with 1K+ subscribers.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Charms: Cereal icon General Mills boosted its annual forecast as inflation encourages “value-seeking behaviors” like eating Cheerios at home vs. splurging on $15 avo toast.
  • Genergy: The German gov’t will acquire a 99% stake in Uniper (Germany’s biggest Russian-gas importer) in an $8B deal. The nationalization move comes as Germany preps for a winter gas shortage.
  • Cut: Tech titans are creatively cutting staff to avoid the L-word (layoffs). Meta’s reportedly nudging out workers through reorgs and Google’s requiring some to apply for new roles.
  • Easy: Coty is feeling breezy and beautiful. The CoverGirl parent raised quarterly earnings expectations and aims to double skin-care revenue as consumers spend more on #selfcare despite ’flation.
  • Unsold: Sales of preowned homes fell for the seventh straight month as soaring mortgage rates and sticky prices push wannabe buyers out of the market. The #1 price problem: low inventory.

Snack Fact of the Day

The US gained 2.5M new millionaires last year, the largest annual boost in millionaires recorded for any country this century


  • Jobless claims
  • Earnings expected from Costco, Accenture, FactSet, FedEx, and Olive Garden owner Darden

Authors of this Snacks own: shares of Amazon, Coty, and Google

ID: 2437821

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