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Tell a black box on the stock market


FRANKFURT. After a half year break with Helikos ventures in this country, the second investment vehicle from the cover, and plans to jump on the floor. Expected 250 million euros serious issue, expected by the end of January, would also be the first initial public offering in Germany this year.

Whether the so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Company (Spac) door for further placements in the very weak IPO market can play, is more than questionable. "It’s a very special product that I would not necessarily see as an icebreaker for the IPO market," said George Hansel, manager of the Deutsche Bank. The latter accompanies the Helikos-IPO responsible. With Hochtief and Concessions Scan Energy were the end of 2009, two prominent IPOs in this country exploded. Hansel also made it clear that Spacs are likely to remain an exception. Although there are prospects, but there would be no boom.

Spacs are empty purse coats, which are conducted by reputable managers placed with investors. Be found within two years must be a takeover target. The investor will therefore initially not know in what company he invests. However, it can cooperate with the other owners refuse to purchase later, if this is a majority. In the event of a takeover, the company will be merged to the Spac, so that they will take more direct than the IPO to be listed on the stock exchange. Failing a deal, the money will be refunded after 24 months of interest – the Spac dissolves.

We have received from the investors, "good response" to the stock market plans, there are Helikos boss Roland Linau confident. The ex-investment banker from the Deutsche Bank has for some years managing director for Wendel, an investment company from France. Also on board is also a professor and business consultant, Hermann Simon, who has used the term "hidden champions dominated for German world market leaders.

"Our goal is to acquire a medium-sized pearl," said Linau. Already, about 20 companies would find themselves on the shortlist for the Spac. Helikos wants to invest in businesses with a value of 300 million to a billion euros. Thus it is not unlikely that it can also lead to a minority shareholding.

Helikos has responded with its concept emerged in the last general criticism of Spacs. Thus, the initiators was accused of having too high a risk with little profit potential. Reason was that traditional models of management in a successful merger of the purchased company with the Spac automatically assigns a massive equities. These were usually around 20 to 25 percent of the initial capital. In Helikos the allocation of those shares shall, however founders in three steps and is dependent on price increases to be made mandatory. "Everyone must have joy," commented Linau.

In addition, the investment company can spiral, which initially involved with ten million euros, unfavorable herauskaufen investors. Thus, the risk of an already-agreed deal because of the veto of the shareholders falls short to have to blow off. "For the companies who turn to us, reliability is extremely important," summed up Linau.


Special construction Spacs are a side issue – even in the U.S., where they were invented. There, the "blank check construction experienced" to the financial crisis, a boom. 2009 but broke down more than 20 transactions because Spac’s shareholders voted against a proposed takeover. According to the Deutsche Bank Worldwide there are about 200 Spacs in Europe about a handful.

So far, there are pioneers with Germany 1, only a Spac in this country. It is used by Ex-UBSBankers Florian Lahnstein, the management consultant Roland Berger and Ex-ArcandorCEO Thomas Middelhoff serves. In July 2008 it had collected 250 million euros and bought one years later, the electronics company AEG Power Solutions. With 9,20 Euro, the share of Germany 1 but was modified at the issue price of ten euros.