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Maples Group Assists in Hong Kong's Debut SPAC Listing

31 Mar 2022


Maples and Calder, the Maples Group's law firm, is pleased to have acted as Cayman Islands counsel for the first special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”) listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).  Aquila Acquisition Corporation ("Aquila") completed its initial public offering on 18 March 2022 and raised US$128 million in proceeds. This is the very first Hong Kong SPAC listing since HKSE updated its listing rules to permit SPAC listings on 1 January 2022. 

Aquila, backed by China Merchants Bank International Asset Management, has been formed for the purpose of effecting a business combination with a target business in new-economy sectors including green energy, life sciences and advanced technology in Asia, with a focus on China. 

Our team based in the Hong Kong and Singapore offices of the Maples Group acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Aquila, and was led by Partner and Head of the Asia Corporate practice, Matt Roberts and assisted by Legal Manager Charmaine Chow. 

Matt Roberts commented: "We are honoured to have assisted on the inaugural SPAC listing in Hong Kong which sets a precedent for future Hong Kong SPAC listings in the market. Having also recently advised on the first SPAC listing in Singapore[1], we are profoundly grateful that our clients entrust the Maples Group to act as their offshore counsel for their SPAC IPOs and de-SPAC mandates and we are excited that HK is rapidly becoming a new SPAC hub in Asia."

Impressively, the firm acted for over half of all SPAC deals recorded in Asia[2] during 2020 and 2021 and was also recently listed as the leading offshore SPAC adviser by Asia Business Law Journal[3]. The team continue to be selected to act as Cayman Islands counsel on SPAC IPOs as a result of the firm's market-leading experience and comprehensive capabilities in this area. The firm also advise a number of Asia based institutions, asset managers and HNIs looking to list their SPACs on either the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ or Singapore Exchange, amongst others. 

Freshfields acted as local counsel to the issuer while Linklaters represented the joint sponsors, joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. 



[1] Maples Assists in the first SPAC listing in Singapore, namely Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation 

[2] HKEX: Market Statistics 2020 

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