First Swiss SPAC prepares for stock exchange listing - source

ZURICH, March 11 (Reuters) - The first Swiss special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) could list on the Swiss stock exchange during the second quarter if it gets the green light from the company which runs the exchange, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

Asset manager Veraison Capital is involved in the transaction and early meetings with potential investors have already taken place, the source familiar with the matter told Reuters, confirming a report by financial news portal Inside Paradeplatz.

Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS have been mandated to handle the transaction, the source said.

SPACs are shell companies which raise funds through an IPO to acquire a private company, which then becomes public as a result. It serves as an alternative for companies looking to enter public markets and allows more certainty in terms of the valuation it can receive on the deal.

UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment. Veraison Capital could not be reached for comment.

Mergers through special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have surged to a record $170 billion this year, already outstripping last year’s total of $157 billion, Refinitiv data showed.

They have gained in popularity in recent months, with investors increasingly looking to growth stocks for higher returns, and as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the traditional IPO process. (Reporting by Oliver Hirt, writing by Silke Koltrowitz, editing by Alexandra Hudson)