Scooter-Share Helbiz’s Friday 13th Debut Shows SPAC Refunds

Scooter-Share Helbiz’s Friday 13th Debut Shows Big SPAC Refunds

Helbiz Inc. shows how hellish SPAC deals can be.

The electric-mobility firm, which offers rides on scooters, bikes and mopeds via a smartphone app, started trading Friday the 13th after closing its deal with GreenVision Acquisition Corp. Shares jumped almost as much as 211%, triggering multiple trading halts under the ticker “GRNV”. Their symbol will change to “HLBZ” on Monday.

But Hellbiz’s debut came with another caveat.

The company is expected to receive an automatically issued de-listing letter from the Nasdaq in the next seven days, it said in a press release.

That’s because SPAC shareholders appear to have taken a significant chunk of their money back before the deal with GreenVision was completed. As a result of redemption activity, the combined company Helbiz will not meet Nasdaq’s initial listing requirements.

Helbiz spokesperson Gary Dvorchak likened the de-listing letter as a formality that will be cleared after administrative procedures are completed.

“We are really pleased with the price action, needless to say. Micromobility is a hot topic, and being the first to list in the U.S. in this sector is quite an honor,” Dvorchak said in a emailed statement to Bloomberg.

Helbiz’s listing status highlights one risk of going public via SPAC reverse-merger: big refunds. When a Special Purpose Acquisition Company goes public, it raises dollars with the aim of finding, acquiring and merging with a private company. But SPAC shareholders are entitled to get their money back before a deal is closed.

Based on the cash Helbiz received from the SPAC deal, GreenVision shareholders appear to have done just that. Helbiz received $24.5 million in gross cash proceeds, of which $21.5 million is attributable to additional financing in the form of a private investment in public equity, or PIPE. With all but $3 million redeemed, it would appear that 95% of the GreenVision IPO proceeds were refunded.

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