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Table of Contents
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM
10-K/A
(Amendment No. 2)
 
 
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from
                    
to
                    
 
 
ESS Tech, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
 
Delaware
 
001-39525
 
98-1550150
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(Commission
File Number)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
     
6440 SW Parkway Ave., Bldg. 83
Wilsonville,
 
Oregon
     
97070
(Address of principal executive offices)
     
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (855)
423-9920
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of Each Class:
  
Trading Symbol:
  
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered:
Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share
  
GWH
  
The New York Stock Exchange
Warrants, each whole warrant exercisable for one share of common stock at an exercise price of $11.50
  
GWHW
  
The New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.     Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files
).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
       
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
       
         Emerging growth company  
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No  
As of June 30, 2021, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the then outstanding Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001, of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp., our predecessor (“STWO”), computed by reference to the closing sales price for such shares on June 30, 2021, as reported on the Nasdaq Capital Market (“NASDAQ”), was
$261,000,000
 
(based on the closing sales price of such shares on June 30, 2021 of $10.44).
As of November
30
,
2021, 144,675,733 shares of Common Stock, par value $0.0001, were issued and outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference: None.
 
 
 
 

Table of Contents
EXPLANATORY NOTE
ESS Tech, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“ESS” or the “Company”), formerly known as ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. (“STWO”) is filing this Amendment No. 2 on Form
10-K/A
(the “Second Amended Filing”) to amend and restate certain items in its Annual Report on Form
10-K
as of December 31, 2020 for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, originally filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on March 31, 2021 (the “Original Filing”) and subsequently amended on May 24, 2021 (the “First Amended Filing”).
On October 8, 2021 (the “Closing Date”), the Company consummated the previously announced merger pursuant to that certain Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated May 6, 2021 (the “Merger Agreement”), by and among STWO, SCharge Merger Sub, Inc., a Delaware corporation and wholly owned direct subsidiary of STWO (“Merger Sub”), and ESS Subsidiary Tech, Inc., a Delaware corporation (f/k/a ESS Tech, Inc.) (“Legacy ESS”) following the approval at a special meeting of the stockholders of STWO held on October 5, 2021 (the “Special Meeting”).
Pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement, STWO deregistered by way of continuation under the Cayman Islands Companies Act (2021 Revision) and registered as a corporation in the State of Delaware under Part XII of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “Domestication”), and a business combination between STWO and Legacy ESS was effected through the merger of Merger Sub with and into Legacy ESS, with ESS surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of STWO (together with the other transactions described in the Merger Agreement, the “Business Combination”). On the Closing Date, the registrant changed its name from “ACON S2 Acquisition Corp.” to “ESS Tech, Inc.”
Unless stated otherwise, this report contains information about STWO prior to the Business Combination. References to the “Company” in this report refer to STWO before the Business Combination or ESS after the Business Combination, as the context suggests.
Background of Restatement
The Company has
re-evaluated
the Company’s application of ASC
480-10-S99-3A
to its accounting classification of its outstanding Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Public Shares”), issued as part of the units sold in the Company’s initial public offering (the “IPO”) on September 21, 2020. Historically, a portion of the Public Shares was classified as permanent equity to maintain shareholders’ equity greater than $5 million on the basis that the Company would not redeem its Public Shares in an amount that would cause its net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001, as described in the Company’s memorandum and articles of association (the “Charter”). Pursuant to such
re-evaluation,
the Company’s management has determined that the Public Shares included certain provisions that require classification of all of the Public Shares as temporary equity regardless of the net tangible assets redemption limitation contained in the Charter. In addition, in connection with the change in presentation for the Public Shares, the Company determined it should restate its earnings per share calculation to allocate income and losses shared pro rata between the two classes of shares. This presentation contemplates a Business Combination as the most likely outcome, in which case, both classes of shares share pro rata in the income and losses of the Company.
Therefore, on November 22, 2021, the Company’s management and the audit committee of the Company’s board of directors (the “Audit Committee”) concluded that the Company’s previously issued (i) audited balance sheet as of September 21, 2020 (the
“Post-IPO
Balance Sheet”), as previously restated in the First Amended Filing, (ii) audited financial statements included in the First Amended Filing, (iii) unaudited interim financial statements included in the
Form 10-Q
for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020 as previously restated in the First Amended Filing; (iv) unaudited interim financial statements included in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q
for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on May 13, 2021; and (v) unaudited interim financial statements included in the Company’s Quarterly Report on
Form 10-Q
for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2021, filed with the SEC on August 11, 2021 (collectively, the “Affected Periods”), should be restated to report all Public Shares as temporary equity and should no longer be relied upon. As such, the Company will restate its financial statements for the Affected Periods in this
Form 10-K/A
for the
Post-IPO
Balance Sheet and the Company’s audited financial statements included in the First Amended Filing, and the unaudited condensed financial statements for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020, and the unaudited condensed financial statements for the periods ended March 31, 2021 in the Form 10-Q/A as of and for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and June 30, 2021 in the Form 10-Q/A as of and for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021.
The restatement does not have an impact on its cash position and cash held in the trust account established in connection with the IPO (the “Trust Account”).
The Company’s management has concluded that there is a material weakness in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and that the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures were not effective. The Company’s remediation plan with respect to such material weakness is described in more detail in Item 9A. Controls and Procedures in this
 
Form 10-K/A
 
Amendment No. 2.

Table of Contents
Items Amended
We are filing this Second Amended Filing to amend and restate the First Amended Filing with modifications as necessary to reflect the restatements. The following items have been amended to reflect the restatements:
Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors
Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Part II, Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Part II, Item 9A Controls and Procedures
In addition, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have provided new certifications dated as of the date of this filing in connection with this Form
10-K/A
(Exhibits 31.1, 31.2, 32.1 and 32.2).
Except as described above, no other information included in the Original Filing or the First Amended Filing is being amended or updated by this Second Amended Filing and, other than as described herein, this Second Amended Filing does not purport to reflect any information or events subsequent to the Original Filing, or the First Amended Filing. We have not amended our previously filed Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q
for the period affected by the restatement or our previously filed balance sheet, dated September 21, 2020, on Form
8-K.
This Second Amended Filing continues to describe the conditions as of the date of the Original Filing or the First Amended Filing and, except as expressly contained herein, we have not updated, modified or supplemented the disclosures contained in the Original Filing or the First Amended Filing.
See Note 2 to the Notes to Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Amendment for additional information on the restatements and the related financial statement effects.
Internal Control Considerations
In connection therewith, the Company’s management identified a material weakness in its internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis. For a discussion of management’s consideration of the material weakness identified, see Item 9A. Controls and Procedures included in this Amendment.

Table of Contents
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Table of Contents
CERTAIN TERMS
Unless otherwise stated in this Annual Report on Form
10-K
(this “Report”), references to:
 
 
 
“amended and restated memorandum and articles of association” is to the amended and restated memorandum and articles of association of the Company, adopted and filed on September 11, 2020;
 
 
 
“Companies Act” is to the Companies Act (2020 Revision) of the Cayman Islands as the same may be amended from time to time;
 
 
 
“founder shares” is to our Class B ordinary shares initially issued to our Sponsor in a private placement prior to our initial public offering and the Class A ordinary shares that will be issued upon the automatic conversion of the Class B ordinary shares at the time of our initial business combination or earlier at the option of the holders thereof (for the avoidance of doubt, such Class A ordinary shares will not be “public shares”);
 
 
 
“management” or our “management team” are to our executive officers and directors;
 
 
 
“ordinary shares” is to our Class A ordinary shares and our Class B ordinary shares;
 
 
 
“private placement warrants” is to the warrants issued to our Sponsor in a private placement simultaneously with the closing of our initial public offering and to be issued upon conversion of working capital loans, if any;
 
 
 
“public shares” is to our Class A ordinary shares sold as part of the units in our initial public offering (whether they were purchased in our initial public offering or are purchased thereafter in the open market);
 
 
 
“public shareholders” is to the holders of our public shares, including our Sponsor and management team to the extent our Sponsor and/or members of our management team purchase public shares, provided that our Sponsor’s and each member of our management team’s status as a “public shareholder” will only exist with respect to such public shares;
 
 
 
“Sponsor” is to ACON S2 Sponsor, L.L.C., a Delaware limited liability company; and
 
 
 
“we,” “us,” “our,” “Company” or “our Company” are to ACON S2 Acquisition Corp., a Cayman Islands exempted company.
 
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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND SUMMARY OF RISK FACTORS
This Report, including, without limitation, statements under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Exchange Act”). These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the words “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “possible,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “potential,” “projects,” “predicts,” “continue,” “could,” “would” or “should,” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These words and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. There can be no assurance that actual results will not materially differ from expectations. Such statements include, but are not limited to, any statements relating to our ability to consummate any acquisition or other business combination and any other statements that are not statements of current or historical facts. These statements are based on management’s current expectations, but actual results may differ materially due to various factors, risks, and uncertainties, including, but not limited to:
 
 
 
our being a company with no operating history and no revenue;
 
 
 
our ability to select an appropriate target business or businesses;
 
 
 
our ability to complete our initial business combination;
 
 
 
our expectations around the performance of a prospective target business or businesses;
 
 
 
our success in retaining or recruiting, or changes required in, our officers, key employees or directors following our initial business combination;
 
 
 
our officers and directors allocating their time to other businesses and potentially having conflicts of interest with our business or in approving our initial business combination;
 
 
 
our potential ability to obtain additional financing to complete our initial business combination;
 
 
 
our pool of prospective target businesses;
 
 
 
our ability to consummate an initial business combination due to the continued uncertainty resulting from the
COVID-19
pandemic;
 
 
 
the ability of our officers and directors to generate a number of potential investment opportunities;
 
 
 
our public securities’ potential liquidity and trading;
 
 
 
the lack of a market for our securities;
 
 
 
the use of proceeds not held in the trust account or available to us from interest income on the trust account balance;
 
 
 
the trust account not being subject to claims of third parties;
 
 
 
our financial performance following our initial public offering; or
 
 
 
other risks and uncertainties discussed in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Report.
The forward-looking statements contained in this Report are based on our current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on us. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that we have anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) and other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those factors described under the heading “Risk Factors.” Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. These risks and others described under “Risk Factors” may not be exhaustive.
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. We caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and developments in the industry in which we operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this Report. In addition, even if our results or operations, financial condition and liquidity, and developments in the industry in which we operate are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this Report, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods.
 
 
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PART I
Item 1. Business
Overview
We are a blank check company incorporated as a Cayman Islands exempted company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities, which we refer to throughout this Report as “business combination” or “initial business combination.” To date, our efforts have been limited to organizational activities, activities related to our initial public offering, and the search for a prospective business combination target.
Our Sponsor is ACON S2 Sponsor, L.L.C., an affiliate of ACON Investments (as defined below), an international private equity investment firm headquartered in Washington, DC.
Our Founders
The Company was jointly founded by our management team and ACON Investments, L.L.C. (“ACON Investments”). ACON Investments is a middle-market private equity investment firm led by a cohesive team that has been investing together for over 23 years. Founded in 1996, ACON Investments is responsible for managing approximately $5.9 billion of assets with a diverse portfolio of companies spanning over 70 investments since inception and 29 current portfolio companies, which currently employ over 39,000 people in 32 countries. ACON Investments manages private equity funds and special purpose partnerships that make investments in the United States, Latin America and Europe, and reviewed more than 600 investment opportunities in 2020. We believe that the experience of our management team and our relationship with ACON Investments should allow us to source, identify and execute an attractive transaction for our shareholders.
We believe our management team is well positioned to take advantage of the growing set of acquisition opportunities focused on strategic sustainability and that our contacts and relationships, ranging from owners of private and public companies, private equity funds, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants and business brokers, should allow us to generate an attractive transaction for our shareholders.
The past performance of the members of our management team, ACON Investments or their affiliates is not a guarantee that we will be able to identify a suitable candidate for our initial business combination or of success with respect to any business combination we may consummate. You should not rely on the historical record of the performance of our management (if any), ACON Investments or any of its affiliates’ or managed funds’ performance as indicative of our future performance.
Business Strategy
Our acquisition and value creation strategy is to use our management team’s and ACON Investments’ existing investment opportunity identification, evaluation, structuring and execution experience and 20+ year platform infrastructure to identify, acquire and, after our initial business combination, build a company in the public markets. While we may pursue an initial business combination opportunity in any business, industry, sector or geographical location, we intend to initially focus our search on identifying a prospective target business that employs a strategic approach to sustainability; that is, a business whose pursuit of sustainability—environmental, social and/or economic—is core to driving its performance and success thereby best leveraging the experience and expertise of our management team and ACON Investments. Our selection process will leverage our long-standing network of industry, sustainability, private equity sponsor, credit fund sponsor and lending community relationships as well as relationships with management teams of public and private companies, investment bankers, restructuring advisers, attorneys and accountants, which we believe should provide us with a number of business combination opportunities. We intend to deploy
a pro-active, thematic
sourcing strategy and to focus on companies where we believe the combination of our experience, platform, relationships, capital and capital markets expertise can be catalysts to transformation, growth acceleration and performance.
Market Opportunity
We intend to identify and merge with a business with an overall transaction value between $500 million and $2.0 billion. We believe strategic sustainability offers an attractive target market given its size, breadth and prospects for growth driven primarily by changing customer behavior. Sustainability is now a “must have” driven by a confluence of impact factors including consumer preference, competitive imperative, regulation, investor mandates and capital markets. As a result,
 
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companies are responding to changes in consumer preference. The Governance and Accountability Institute suggested that 86% of S&P 500 companies published sustainability reports in 2018 – up from 20% in 2011. At the same time, capital markets are also responding to the shifts as well. Deloitte Center for Financial Services projects
ESG-mandated
assets could make up half of all managed assets in the United States by 2025 vs. 11% in 2012 and 26% in 2018. Studies conducted by NYU Stern School of Business and Bank of America reported that consumers are also increasingly looking to align themselves with sustainable companies that serve a greater social purpose. As an example, from 2013 to 2018, consumer packaged goods, or CPG, marketed as sustainable experienced 5.6 times faster growth than other CPG, and captured 50.1% of total market growth while representing 16% of the total category.
Business Combination Criteria
Consistent with our strategy, we will seek to identify companies that have compelling growth potential and will benefit from being publicly traded and having access to the public capital markets. We intend to acquire companies or assets that we believe have the following attributes:
 
   
Proven Track Record of Sustainability.
 We intend to acquire businesses that have a proven track record in sustainability–environmental, social, and/or economic–which we believe has become a key focus point of consumers and will aid our management team in executing the growth strategy of our business.
 
   
Middle-Market Businesses.
 We believe that the middle market segment provides the widest range of opportunities for investment and is consistent with our management team’s and our Sponsor’s investment experience and deal flow network.
 
   
Established Companies with Proven Track Records at Inflection Points.
 We will typically focus on companies with a history of strong operating and financial results that already have or have the potential to generate consistent and predictable cash flow. We will focus in particular on companies where we can help facilitate growth by bringing to bear additional management expertise, new product or service innovations and where appropriate,
add-on
acquisitions.
 
   
Significant Potential for Revenue and Earnings Growth.
 We will seek to acquire one or more businesses that have the potential for significant revenue and earnings growth through a combination of organic growth initiatives, synergistic
add-on
acquisitions, new product markets and geographies, increased production capacity and increased operating leverage.
 
   
Unrecognized Value.
 We will look for companies that we believe have not been properly valued by the marketplace and will leverage our operational expertise, disciplined investment approach and experience in complex situations to identify and unlock misunderstood value.
 
   
A Strong Competitive Position.
 We intend to focus on targets that have the potential to develop a leading, well-defined niche market position in their respective industries. Targets will have the ability to demonstrate advantages when compared to their competitors.
 
   
An Experienced Management Team.
 We intend to acquire one or more companies that have a complete, experienced management team or where we have the ability to supplement the existing management team with additional operating, financial and capital markets resources and capabilities to be successful in the context of being a publicly traded company.
These attributes are not intended to be exhaustive. Any evaluation relating to the merits of a particular initial business combination may be based, to the extent relevant, on these general guidelines as well as other considerations, factors and criteria that from time to time our management may deem relevant, and we may decide to enter our initial business combination with a target business that does not meet these criteria and guidelines.
Sourcing of Acquisition Targets
In evaluating a prospective target business, we will conduct a thorough due diligence review which may encompass, among other things, meetings with management and employees, document reviews, reports about the potential target prepared by third parties, inspection of facilities, as well as a review of financial, operational, legal and other information which will be made available to us and our auditors. Additionally, members of our management team and of our board of directors have significant executive management and public company experience, and accordingly have developed a deep network of contacts and relationships that will provide us with an important source of acquisition opportunities. In addition, we anticipate that opportunities will be brought to our attention by various unaffiliated sources, including investment banks, private equity groups, consultants, accounting firms and other investment market participants.
 
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We are not prohibited from pursuing an initial business combination with a business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, officers or directors. In the event we seek to complete our initial business combination with a business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, officers or directors, we, or a committee of independent and disinterested directors, will obtain an opinion from an independent investment banking firm that is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, or from an independent valuation, appraisal or accounting firm, that our initial business combination is fair to our Company from a financial point of view.
Members of our management team and our independent directors directly or indirectly own founder shares and/or private placement warrants following our initial public offering, and, accordingly, may have a conflict of interest in determining whether a particular target business is an appropriate business with which to effectuate our initial business combination. Further, each of our officers and directors may have a conflict of interest with respect to evaluating a particular business combination if the retention or resignation of any such officers and directors was included by a target business as a condition to any agreement with respect to our initial business combination.
We have not yet entered into a definitive agreement with any specific target business with respect to a business combination. Our management team is regularly made aware of potential business opportunities, one or more of which we may desire to pursue for a business combination, but we have not (nor has anyone on our behalf) entered into a definitive agreement with respect to a business combination transaction with our Company.
Other Considerations
Each of our officers and directors presently have, and any of them in the future may have additional, fiduciary or contractual obligations to other entities pursuant to which such officer or director is or will be required to present a business combination opportunity to such entity, subject to their fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law. Accordingly, if any of our officers or directors becomes aware of a business combination opportunity that is suitable for an entity to which he or she has then-current fiduciary or contractual obligations, he or she will honor his or her fiduciary or contractual obligations to present such business combination opportunity to such entity. We expect that if an opportunity is presented to one of our officers or directors in his or her capacity as an officer or director of one of those other entities, such opportunity would be presented to such other entity and not to us. For more information on the entities to which our officers and directors currently have fiduciary or contractual obligations, please refer to Item 10 “Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance—Conflicts of Interest.” Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that we renounce, to the maximum extent permitted by law, our interest in any corporate opportunity offered to any director or officer or about which any of our officers or directors acquires knowledge unless such opportunity is expressly offered to such person solely in his or her capacity as a director or officer of our Company and such opportunity is one we are legally and contractually permitted to undertake and would otherwise be reasonable for us to pursue. In addition, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association contain provisions to exculpate and indemnify, to the maximum extent permitted by law, such persons in respect of any liability, obligation or duty to our Company that may arise as a consequence of such persons becoming aware of any business opportunity or failing to present such business opportunity.
Certain of our officers and directors have fiduciary and contractual duties to ACON Investments and its affiliates and to certain companies in which ACON Investments has invested. As a result, certain of our officers and directors will have a duty to offer acquisition opportunities to certain investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments before we can pursue such opportunities. However, we do not expect these duties to present a significant conflict of interest with our search for an initial business combination. We believe this conflict of interest will be naturally mitigated, to some extent, by the differing nature of the acquisition targets ACON Investments typically considers most attractive for the investment vehicles it manages and the types of acquisitions we expect to find most attractive. ACON Investments’ traditional private equity activities typically involve investing in private companies, and while ACON Investments will often take companies public, it typically invests in those entities several years prior to an initial public offering, not at the time of such offering. As a result, we may become aware of a potential transaction that is not a fit for the traditional private equity activities of ACON Investments but that is an attractive opportunity for us.
Our Sponsor, officers and directors may sponsor, form or participate in other blank check companies similar to ours during the period in which we are seeking an initial business combination. Any such companies may present additional conflicts of interest in pursuing an acquisition target, particularly in the event there is overlap among investment mandates. However, we do not currently expect that any such other blank check company would materially affect our ability to complete our initial business combination. In addition, our Sponsor, officers and directors, are not required to commit any specified amount of time to our affairs, and, accordingly, will have conflicts of interest in allocating management time among various business activities, including identifying potential business combinations and monitoring the related due diligence. Moreover, certain of our officers and directors have time and attention requirements for investment vehicles of which ACON Investments and its affiliates are the investment managers.
 
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Status as a Public Company
We believe our structure makes us an attractive business combination partner to target businesses. As an existing public company, we offer a target business an alternative to the traditional initial public offering through a merger or other business combination with us. In a business combination transaction with us, the owners of the target business may, for example, exchange their shares of stock in the target business for our Class A ordinary shares (or shares of a new holding company) or for a combination of our Class A ordinary shares and cash, allowing us to tailor the consideration to the specific needs of the sellers. We believe target businesses will find this method a more expeditious and cost effective method to becoming a public company than the typical initial public offering process. The typical initial public offering process takes a significantly longer period of time than the typical business combination transaction process, and there are significant expenses in the initial public offering process, including underwriting discounts and commissions, that may not be present to the same extent in connection with a business combination with us.
Furthermore, once a proposed business combination is completed, the target business will have effectively become public, whereas an initial public offering is always subject to the underwriters’ ability to complete the offering, as well as general market conditions, which could delay or prevent the offering from occurring or have negative valuation consequences. Once public, we believe the target business would then have greater access to capital, an additional means of providing management incentives consistent with shareholders’ interests and the ability to use its shares as currency for acquisitions. Being a public company can offer further benefits by augmenting a company’s profile among potential new customers and vendors, aid in attracting talented employees, and provide more attractive opportunities to raise additional capital.
While we believe that our structure and our management team’s backgrounds will make us an attractive business partner, some potential target businesses may view our status as a blank check company, such as our lack of an operating history and our ability to seek shareholder approval of any proposed initial business combination, negatively.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act, as modified by the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As such, we are eligible to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding
a non-binding advisory
vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved, If some investors find our securities less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our securities and the prices of our securities may be more volatile.
In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We intend to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial public offering, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our Class A ordinary shares that are held
by non-affiliates exceeds
$700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion
in non-convertible debt
securities during the prior three-year period.
Additionally, we are a “smaller reporting company” as defined in Item 10(f)(1) of
Regulation S-K. Smaller
reporting companies may take advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations, including, among other things, providing only two years of audited financial statements, and, if their revenues are less than $100 million, not providing an independent registered public accounting firm attestation on internal control over financial reporting. We will remain a smaller reporting company until the last day of any fiscal year for so long as either (1) the market value of our ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates did
not exceed $250 million as of the prior June 30, or (2) our annual revenues did not exceed $100 million during such completed fiscal year and the market value of our ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates did
not exceed $700 million as of the prior June 30.
 
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Financial Position
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $240,250,000 available to consummate an initial business combination after payment of the estimated expenses of our initial public offering. With these funds available for a business combination, we believe we offer a target business a variety of options such as creating a liquidity event for its owners, providing capital for the potential growth and expansion of its operations or strengthening its balance sheet by reducing its debt ratio. Because we are able to complete our initial business combination using our cash, debt or equity securities, or a combination of the foregoing, we have the flexibility to use the most efficient combination that will allow us to tailor the consideration to be paid to the target business to fit its needs and desires. However, we have not taken any steps to secure third-party financing and there can be no assurance it will be available to us.
Effectuating Our Initial Business Combination
General
We are not presently engaged in, and we will not engage in, any operations for an indefinite period of time following our initial public offering. We intend to effectuate our initial business combination using cash from the proceeds of our initial public offering and the placement of the private placement warrants, the proceeds of the sale of our shares in connection with our initial business combination, shares issued to the owners of the target, debt issued to bank or other lenders or the owners of the target, or a combination of the foregoing or other sources. We may seek to complete our initial business combination with a company or business that may be financially unstable or in its early stages of development or growth, which would subject us to the numerous risks inherent in such companies and businesses.
If our initial business combination is paid for using equity or debt, or not all of the funds released from the trust account are used for payment of the consideration in connection with our initial business combination or used for redemptions of our Class A ordinary shares, we may apply the balance of the cash released to us from the trust account for general corporate purposes, including for maintenance or expansion of operations of the post-business combination company, the payment of principal or interest due on indebtedness incurred in completing our initial business combination, to fund the purchase of other companies or for working capital.
We may need to obtain additional financing to complete our initial business combination, either because the transaction requires more cash than is available from the proceeds held in our trust account, or because we become obligated to redeem a significant number of our public shares upon completion of the business combination, in which case we may issue additional securities or incur debt in connection with such business combination. There are no prohibitions on our ability to issue securities or incur debt in connection with our initial business combination. Other than the potential availability of the backstop arrangement with our Sponsor, we are not currently a party to any arrangement or understanding with any third party with respect to raising any additional funds through the sale of securities, the incurrence of debt or otherwise.
Although our management will assess the risks inherent in a particular target business with which we may combine, we cannot assure you that this assessment will result in our identifying all risks that a target business may encounter. Furthermore, some of those risks may be outside of our control, meaning that we can do nothing to control or reduce the chances that those risks will adversely affect a target business.
Sources of Target Businesses
We anticipate that target business candidates will be brought to our attention from various unaffiliated sources, including investment market participants, private equity groups, investment banking firms, consultants, accounting firms and large business enterprises. Target businesses may be brought to our attention by such unaffiliated sources as a result of being solicited by us through calls. These sources may also introduce us to target businesses in which they think we may be interested on an unsolicited basis, since some of these sources will have read this Report and know what types of businesses we are targeting. Our officers and directors, as well as their affiliates, may also bring to our attention target business candidates that they become aware of through their business contacts as a result of formal or informal inquiries or discussions they may have, as well as attending trade shows or conventions. In addition, we expect to receive a number of proprietary deal flow opportunities that would not otherwise necessarily be available to us as a result of the business relationships of our officers and directors. While we do not presently anticipate engaging the services of professional firms or other individuals that specialize in business acquisitions on any formal basis, we may engage these firms or other individuals in the future, in which event we may pay a finder’s fee, consulting fee or other compensation to be determined in an arm’s length negotiation based
 
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on the terms of the transaction. We will engage a finder only to the extent our management determines that the use of a finder may bring opportunities to us that may not otherwise be available to us or if finders approach us on an unsolicited basis with a potential transaction that our management determines is in our best interest to pursue. Payment of finder’s fees is customarily tied to completion of a transaction, in which case any such fee will be paid out of the funds held in the trust account. In no event, however, will our Sponsor or any of our existing officers or directors, or any of their respective affiliates be paid by us any finder’s fee, consulting fee or other compensation prior to, or for any services they render in order to effectuate, the completion of our initial business combination (regardless of the type of transaction that it is). We have agreed to pay an affiliate of our Sponsor a total of $10,000 per month for office space, secretarial and administrative support and to reimburse our Sponsor for
any out-of-pocket expenses
related to identifying, investigating and completing an initial business combination. Some of our officers and directors may enter into employment or consulting agreements with the post-business combination company following our initial business combination. The presence or absence of any such fees or arrangements will not be used as a criterion in our selection process of an acquisition candidate.
We are not prohibited from pursuing an initial business combination with a business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, officers or directors. In the event we seek to complete our initial business combination with a business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, officers or directors, we, or a committee of independent and disinterested directors, will obtain an opinion from an independent investment banking firm that is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, or from an independent valuation, appraisal or accounting firm, that our initial business combination is fair to our Company from a financial point of view.
Each of our officers and directors presently has, and any of them in the future may have, additional, fiduciary or contractual obligations to other entities, including entities that are affiliates of our Sponsor, pursuant to which such officer or director is or will be required to present a business combination opportunity to such entity. Accordingly, if any of our officers or directors becomes aware of a business combination opportunity which is suitable for an entity to which he or she has then-current fiduciary or contractual obligations, he or she will honor his or her fiduciary or contractual obligations to present such business combination opportunity to such entity, subject to their fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law.
Evaluation of a Target Business and Structuring of Our Initial Business Combination
In evaluating a prospective target business, we expect to conduct an extensive due diligence review which may encompass, as applicable and among other things, meetings with incumbent management and employees, document reviews, reports prepared by third parties, interviews of customers and suppliers, inspection of facilities and a review of financial and other information about the target and its industry. We will also use our management team’s operational and capital planning experience. If we determine to move forward with a particular target, we will proceed to structure and negotiate the terms of the business combination transaction.
The time required to select and evaluate a target business and to structure and complete our initial business combination, and the costs associated with this process, are not currently ascertainable with any degree of certainty. Any costs incurred with respect to the identification and evaluation of, and negotiation with, a prospective target business with which our initial business combination is not ultimately completed will result in our incurring losses and will reduce the funds we can use to complete another business combination. The Company will not pay any consulting fees to members of our management team, or any of their respective affiliates, for services rendered to or in connection with our initial business combination. In addition, we have agreed not to enter into a definitive agreement regarding an initial business combination without the prior consent of our Sponsor.
Lack of Business Diversification
For an indefinite period of time after the completion of our initial business combination, the prospects for our success may depend entirely on the future performance of a single business. Unlike other entities that have the resources to complete business combinations with multiple entities in one or several industries, it is probable that we will not have the resources to diversify our operations and mitigate the risks of being in a single line of business. By completing our initial business combination with only a single entity, our lack of diversification may:
 
   
subject us to negative economic, competitive and regulatory developments, any or all of which may have a substantial adverse impact on the particular industry in which we operate after our initial business combination; and
 
   
cause us to depend on the marketing and sale of a single product or limited number of products or services.
 
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Limited Ability to Evaluate the Target’s Management Team
Although we closely scrutinize the management of a prospective target business when evaluating the desirability of effecting our initial business combination with that business, our assessment of the target business’s management may not prove to be correct. In addition, the future management may not have the necessary skills, qualifications or abilities to manage a public company. Furthermore, the future role of members of our management team, if any, in the target business cannot presently be stated with any certainty. The determination as to whether any of the members of our management team will remain with the combined company will be made at the time of our initial business combination. While it is possible that one or more of our directors will remain associated in some capacity with us following our initial business combination, it is unlikely that any of them will devote their full efforts to our affairs subsequent to our initial business combination. Moreover, we cannot assure you that all (or any of) the members of our management team will have significant experience or knowledge relating to the operations of the particular target business.
We cannot assure you that any of our key personnel will remain in senior management or advisory positions with the combined company. The determination as to whether any of our key personnel will remain with the combined company will be made at the time of our initial business combination.
Following a business combination, we may seek to recruit additional managers to supplement the incumbent management of the target business. We cannot assure you that we will have the ability to recruit additional managers, or that additional managers will have the requisite skills, knowledge or experience necessary to enhance the incumbent management.
Shareholders May Not Have the Ability to Approve Our Initial Business Combination
We may conduct redemptions without a shareholder vote pursuant to the tender offer rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) subject to the provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. However, we will seek shareholder approval if it is required by law or NASDAQ rules, or we may decide to seek shareholder approval for business or other legal reasons.
Under the NASDAQ’s listing rules, shareholder approval would be required for our initial business combination if, for example:
 
   
We issue ordinary shares that will be equal to or in excess of 20% of the number of our ordinary shares then outstanding;
 
   
Any of our directors, officers or substantial shareholders (as defined by NASDAQ rules) has a 5% or greater interest (or such persons collectively have a 10% or greater interest), directly or indirectly, in the target business or assets to be acquired or otherwise and the present or potential issuance of ordinary shares could result in an increase in outstanding ordinary shares or voting power of 5% or more; or
 
   
The issuance or potential issuance of ordinary shares will result in our undergoing a change of control.
The decision as to whether we will seek shareholder approval of a proposed business combination in those instances in which shareholder approval is not required by law will be made by us, solely in our discretion, and will be based on business and legal reasons, which include a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:
 
   
the timing of the transaction, including in the event we determine shareholder approval would require additional time and there is either not enough time to seek shareholder approval or doing so would place the Company at a disadvantage in the transaction or result in other additional burdens on the Company;
 
   
the expected cost of holding a shareholder vote;
 
   
the risk that the shareholders would fail to approve the proposed business combination;
 
   
other time and budget constraints of the Company; and
 
   
additional legal complexities of a proposed business combination that would be time-consuming and burdensome to present to shareholders.
Permitted Purchases of Our Securities
If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination and we do not conduct redemptions in connection with our initial business combination pursuant to the tender offer rules, our Sponsor, directors, executive officers, advisors or their affiliates may purchase public shares or warrants in privately negotiated transactions or in the open market either prior to or following the completion of our initial business combination. Additionally, at any time at or prior to our initial business
 
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combination, subject to applicable securities laws (including with respect to material nonpublic information), our Sponsor, directors, executive officers, advisors or their affiliates may enter into transactions with investors and others to provide them with incentives to acquire public shares, vote their public shares in favor of our initial business combination or not redeem their public shares. However, they do not have any current commitments, plans or intentions to engage in such transactions and have not formulated any terms or conditions for any such transactions. None of the funds in the trust account will be used to purchase public shares or warrants in such transactions. If they engage in such transactions, they will be restricted from making any such purchases when they are in possession of any
material non-public information
not disclosed to the seller or if such purchases are prohibited by Regulation M under the Exchange Act.
In the event that our Sponsor, directors, officers, advisors or their affiliates purchase shares in privately negotiated transactions from public shareholders who have already elected to exercise their redemption rights or submitted a proxy to vote against our initial business combination, such selling shareholders would be required to revoke their prior elections to redeem their shares and any proxy to vote against our initial business combination. We do not currently anticipate that such purchases, if any, would constitute a tender offer subject to the tender offer rules under the Exchange Act or a going-private transaction subject to the going-private rules under the Exchange Act; however, if the purchasers determine at the time of any such purchases that the purchases are subject to such rules, the purchasers will be required to comply with such rules.
The purpose of any such transaction could be to (i) vote in favor of the business combination and thereby increase the likelihood of obtaining shareholder approval of the business combination if such shareholder approval was sought or required by law, (ii) reduce the number of public warrants outstanding or vote such warrants on any matters submitted to the warrant holders for approval in connection with our initial business combination or (iii) satisfy a closing condition in an agreement with a target that requires us to have a minimum net worth or a certain amount of cash at the closing of our initial business combination, where it appears that such requirement would otherwise not be met. Any such purchases of our securities may result in the completion of our initial business combination that may not otherwise have been possible.
In addition, if such purchases are made, the public “float” of our Class A ordinary shares or public warrants may be reduced and the number of beneficial holders of our securities may be reduced, which may make it difficult to maintain or obtain the quotation, listing or trading of our securities on a national securities exchange.
Our Sponsor, officers, directors and/or their affiliates may identify the shareholders with whom our Sponsor, officers, directors or their affiliates may pursue privately negotiated transactions by either the shareholders contacting us directly or by our receipt of redemption requests submitted by shareholders (in the case of Class A ordinary shares) following our mailing of tender offer or proxy materials in connection with our initial business combination. To the extent that our Sponsor, officers, directors, advisors or their affiliates enter into a private transaction, they would identify and contact only potential selling or redeeming shareholders who have expressed their election to redeem their shares for a pro rata share of the trust account or vote against our initial business combination, whether or not such shareholder has already submitted a proxy with respect to our initial business combination but only if such shares have not already been voted at the shareholder meeting related to our initial business combination. Our Sponsor, executive officers, directors, advisors or their affiliates will select which shareholders to purchase shares from based on the negotiated price and number of shares and any other factors that they may deem relevant, and will be restricted from purchasing shares if such purchases do not comply with Regulation M under the Exchange Act and the other federal securities laws.
Our Sponsor, officers, directors and/or their affiliates will be restricted from making purchases of shares if the purchases would violate Section 9(a)(2) or
Rule 10b-5 of
the Exchange Act. We expect any such purchases would be reported by such person pursuant to Section 13 and Section 16 of the Exchange Act to the extent such purchasers are subject to such reporting requirements.
Redemption Rights for Public Shareholders upon Completion of Our Initial Business Combination
We will provide our public shareholders with the opportunity to redeem all or a portion of their Class A ordinary shares upon the completion of our initial business combination at
a per-share price,
payable in cash, equal to the aggregate amount then on deposit in the trust account calculated as of two (2) business days prior to the consummation of the initial business combination, including interest earned on the funds held in the trust account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any, divided by the number of then-outstanding public shares, subject to the limitations described herein. The amount in the trust account is initially anticipated to be $10.00 per public share.
The per-share amount
we will distribute to investors who properly redeem their shares will not be reduced by the deferred underwriting commissions we will pay to Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Cowen and Company, LLC and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (the “Underwriters”), the underwriters of our initial public offering. The redemption rights will include the requirement that a
 
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beneficial holder must identify itself in order to validly redeem its shares. There will be no redemption rights upon the completion of our initial business combination with respect to our warrants. Further, we will not proceed with redeeming our public shares, even if a public shareholder has properly elected to redeem its shares, if a business combination does not close. Our Sponsor and each member of our management team have entered into an agreement with us, pursuant to which they have agreed to waive their redemption rights with respect to any founder shares and public shares held by them in connection with (i) the completion of our initial business combination and (ii) a shareholder vote to approve an amendment to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) that would modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares.
Limitations on Redemptions
Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that in no event will we redeem our public shares in an amount that would cause our net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001 (so that we do not then become subject to the SEC’s “penny stock” rules). However, the proposed business combination may require: (i) cash consideration to be paid to the target or its owners, (ii) cash to be transferred to the target for working capital or other general corporate purposes or (iii) the retention of cash to satisfy other conditions in accordance with the terms of the proposed business combination. In the event the aggregate cash consideration we would be required to pay for all Class A ordinary shares that are validly submitted for redemption plus any amount required to satisfy cash conditions pursuant to the terms of the proposed business combination exceed the aggregate amount of cash available to us, we will not complete the business combination or redeem any shares, and all Class A ordinary shares submitted for redemption will be returned to the holders thereof.
Manner of Conducting Redemptions
We will provide our public shareholders with the opportunity to redeem all or a portion of their Class A ordinary shares upon the completion of our initial business combination either (i) in connection with a shareholder meeting called to approve the business combination or (ii) by means of a tender offer. The decision as to whether we will seek shareholder approval of a proposed business combination or conduct a tender offer will be made by us, solely in our discretion, and will be based on a variety of factors such as the timing of the transaction and whether the terms of the transaction would require us to seek shareholder approval under applicable law or stock exchange listing requirement or whether we were deemed to be a foreign private issuer (which would require a tender offer rather than seeking shareholder approval under SEC rules). Asset acquisitions and share purchases would not typically require shareholder approval while direct mergers with our Company where we do not survive and any transactions where we issue more than 20% of our outstanding ordinary shares or seek to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association would require shareholder approval. We currently intend to conduct redemptions in connection with a shareholder vote unless shareholder approval is not required by applicable law or stock exchange listing requirement and we choose to conduct redemptions pursuant to the tender offer rules of the SEC for business or other legal reasons. So long as we obtain and maintain a listing for our securities on NASDAQ, we will be required to comply with the NASDAQ rules.
If we held a shareholder vote to approve our initial business combination, we will, pursuant to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association:
 
   
conduct the redemptions in conjunction with a proxy solicitation pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Exchange Act, which regulates the solicitation of proxies, and not pursuant to the tender offer rules; and
 
   
file proxy materials with the SEC.
In the event that we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination, we will distribute proxy materials and, in connection therewith, provide our public shareholders with the redemption rights described above upon completion of the initial business combination.
If we seek shareholder approval, we will complete our initial business combination only if a majority of the ordinary shares, represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote thereon, voted at a shareholder meeting are voted in favor of the business combination. In such case, our Sponsor and each member of our management team have agreed to vote their founder shares and public shares in favor of our initial business combination. As a result, in addition to our initial purchaser’s founder shares, we would need 9,375,000, or 37.5% (assuming all issued and outstanding shares are voted), or 1,562,500, or 6.25% (assuming only the minimum number of shares representing a quorum are voted), of the 25,000,000 public shares sold in our
 
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initial public offering to be voted in favor of an initial business combination in order to have our initial business combination approved. Each public shareholder may elect to redeem their public shares irrespective of whether they vote for or against the proposed transaction or vote at all. In addition, our Sponsor and each member of our management team have entered into an agreement with us, pursuant to which they have agreed to waive their redemption rights with respect to any founder shares and public shares held by them in connection with (i) the completion of a business combination and (ii) a shareholder vote to approve an amendment to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) that would modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares.
If we conduct redemptions pursuant to the tender offer rules of the SEC, we will, pursuant to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association:
 
   
conduct the redemptions pursuant to Rule
13e-4
and Regulation 14E of the Exchange Act, which regulate issuer tender offers; and
 
   
file tender offer documents with the SEC prior to completing our initial business combination which contain substantially the same financial and other information about the initial business combination and the redemption rights as is required under Regulation 14A of the Exchange Act, which regulates the solicitation of proxies.
Upon the public announcement of our initial business combination, we and our Sponsor will terminate any plan established in accordance with Rule
10b5-1
to purchase Class A ordinary shares in the open market if we elect to redeem our public shares through a tender offer, in order to comply with Rule
14e-5
under the Exchange Act.
In the event we conduct redemptions pursuant to the tender offer rules, our offer to redeem will remain open for at least twenty (20) business days, in accordance with Rule
14e-1(a)
under the Exchange Act, and we will not be permitted to complete our initial business combination until the expiration of the tender offer period. In addition, the tender offer will be conditioned on public shareholders not tendering more than the number of public shares we are permitted to redeem. If public shareholders tender more shares than we have offered to purchase, we will withdraw the tender offer and not complete the initial business combination.
Limitation on Redemption upon Completion of Our Initial Business Combination If We Seek Shareholder Approval
If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination and we do not conduct redemptions in connection with our initial business combination pursuant to the tender offer rules, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that a public shareholder, together with any affiliate of such shareholder or any other person with whom such shareholder is acting in concert or as a “group” (as defined under Section 13 of the Exchange Act), will be restricted from seeking redemption rights with respect to more than an aggregate of 15% of the shares sold in our initial public offering, which we refer to as “Excess Shares.” We believe this restriction will discourage shareholders from accumulating large blocks of shares, and subsequent attempts by such holders to use their ability to exercise their redemption rights against a proposed business combination as a means to force us or our management to purchase their shares at a significant premium to the then-current market price or on other undesirable terms. Absent this provision, a public shareholder holding more than an aggregate of 15% of the shares sold in our initial public offering could threaten to exercise its redemption rights if such holder’s shares are not purchased by us, our Sponsor or our management at a premium to the then-current market price or on other undesirable terms. By limiting our shareholders’ ability to redeem no more than 15% of the shares sold in our initial public offering without our prior consent, we believe we will limit the ability of a small group of shareholders to unreasonably attempt to block our ability to complete our initial business combination, particularly in connection with a business combination with a target that requires as a closing condition that we have a minimum net worth or a certain amount of cash.
However, we would not be restricting our shareholders’ ability to vote all of their shares (including Excess Shares) for or against our initial business combination.
 
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Tendering Share Certificates in Connection with a Tender Offer or Redemption Rights
Public shareholders seeking to exercise their redemption rights, whether they are record holders or hold their shares in “street name,” will be required to either tender their certificates (if any) to our transfer agent prior to the date set forth in the proxy solicitation or tender offer materials, as applicable, mailed to such holders, or to deliver their shares to the transfer agent electronically using The Depository Trust Company’s DWAC (Deposit/ Withdrawal At Custodian) System, at the holder’s option, in each case up to two (2) business days prior to the initially scheduled vote to approve the business combination. The proxy solicitation or tender offer materials, as applicable, that we will furnish to holders of our public shares in connection with our initial business combination will indicate the applicable delivery requirements, which will include the requirement that a beneficial holder must identify itself in order to validly redeem its shares. Accordingly, a public shareholder would have from the time we send out our tender offer materials until the close of the tender offer period, or up to two days prior to the initial vote on the business combination if we distribute proxy materials, as applicable, to tender its shares if it wishes to seek to exercise its redemption rights. Given the relatively short period in which to exercise redemption rights, it is advisable for shareholders to use electronic delivery of their public shares.
There is a nominal cost associated with the above-referenced tendering process and the act of certificating the shares or delivering them through the DWAC System. The transfer agent will typically charge the tendering broker a fee of approximately $80.00 and it would be up to the broker whether or not to pass this cost on to the redeeming holder. However, this fee would be incurred regardless of whether or not we require holders seeking to exercise redemption rights to tender their shares. The need to deliver shares is a requirement of exercising redemption rights regardless of the timing of when such delivery must be effectuated.
The foregoing is different from the procedures used by many blank check companies. In order to perfect redemption rights in connection with their business combinations, many blank check companies would distribute proxy materials for the shareholders’ vote on an initial business combination, and a holder could simply vote against a proposed business combination and check a box on the proxy card indicating such holder was seeking to exercise his or her redemption rights. After the business combination was approved, the Company would contact such shareholder to arrange for him or her to deliver his or her certificate to verify ownership. As a result, the shareholder then had an “option window” after the completion of the business combination during which he or she could monitor the price of the Company’s shares in the market. If the price rose above the redemption price, he or she could sell his or her shares in the open market before actually delivering his or her shares to the Company for cancellation. As a result, the redemption rights, to which shareholders were aware they needed to commit before the shareholder meeting, would become “option” rights surviving past the completion of the business combination until the redeeming holder delivered its certificate. The requirement for physical or electronic delivery prior to the meeting ensures that a redeeming shareholder’s election to redeem is irrevocable once the business combination is approved.
Any request to redeem such shares, once made, may be withdrawn at any time up to two (2) business days prior to the vote on the proposal to approve the business combination, unless otherwise agreed to by us. Furthermore, if a holder of a public share delivered its certificate in connection with an election of redemption rights and subsequently decides prior to the applicable date not to elect to exercise such rights, such holder may simply request that the transfer agent return the certificate (physically or electronically). It is anticipated that the funds to be distributed to holders of our public shares electing to redeem their shares will be distributed promptly after the completion of our initial business combination.
If our initial business combination is not approved or completed for any reason, then our public shareholders who elected to exercise their redemption rights would not be entitled to redeem their shares for the applicable pro rata share of the trust account. In such case, we will promptly return any certificates delivered by public holders who elected to redeem their shares.
If our initial proposed business combination is not completed, we may continue to try to complete a business combination with a different target until 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering.
Redemption of Public Shares and Liquidation If No Initial Business Combination
Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that we have 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering to consummate an initial business combination. If we have not consummated an initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering, we will: (i) cease all operations except for the purpose of winding up; (ii) as promptly as reasonably possible but not more than ten (10) business days thereafter, redeem the public shares, at
a per-share price,
payable in cash, equal to the aggregate amount then on deposit in the trust account, including interest earned on the funds held in the trust account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any (less up to $100,000 of interest to pay dissolution expenses) divided by the number of the then-outstanding public shares, which redemption will completely extinguish public shareholders’ rights as shareholders (including the right to receive further liquidation distributions, if any); and (iii) as promptly as reasonably possible following such redemption, subject to the approval of our remaining shareholders and our board of directors, liquidate and dissolve, subject in the case of clauses (ii) and (iii) to our obligations under Cayman Islands law to provide for claims of creditors and the requirements of other
 
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applicable law. There will be no redemption rights or liquidating distributions with respect to our warrants, which will expire worthless if we fail to consummate an initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that, if a resolution of the Company’s shareholders is passed pursuant to the Companies Act of the Cayman Islands to commence the voluntary liquidation of the Company, we will follow the foregoing procedures with respect to the liquidation of the trust account as promptly as reasonably possible but not more than ten (10) business days thereafter, subject to applicable Cayman Islands law.
Our Sponsor and each member of our management team have entered into an agreement with us, pursuant to which they have agreed to waive their rights to liquidating distributions from the trust account with respect to any founder shares they hold if we fail to consummate an initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering (although they will be entitled to liquidating distributions from the trust account with respect to any public shares they hold if we fail to complete our initial business combination within the prescribed time frame).
Our Sponsor, executive officers and directors have agreed, pursuant to a written agreement with us, that they will not propose any amendment to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) that would modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares, unless we provide our public shareholders with the opportunity to redeem their public shares upon approval of any such amendment at
a per-share price,
payable in cash, equal to the aggregate amount then on deposit in the trust account, including interest earned on the funds held in the trust account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any, divided by the number of the then-outstanding public shares. However, we may not redeem our public shares in an amount that would cause our net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001 (so that we do not then become subject to the SEC’s “penny stock” rules). If this optional redemption right is exercised with respect to an excessive number of public shares such that we cannot satisfy the net tangible asset requirement, we would not proceed with the amendment or the related redemption of our public shares at such time. This redemption right shall apply in the event of the approval of any such amendment, whether proposed by our Sponsor, any executive officer, director or any other person.
We expect that all costs and expenses associated with implementing our plan of dissolution, as well as payments to any creditors, will be funded from amounts remaining out of the $470,000 held outside the trust account (as of December 31, 2020) plus up to $100,000 of funds from the trust account available to us to pay dissolution expenses, although we cannot assure you that there will be sufficient funds for such purpose.
If we were to expend all of the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants, other than the proceeds deposited in the trust account, and without taking into account interest, if any, earned on the trust account,
the per-share redemption
amount received by shareholders upon our dissolution would be $10.00. The proceeds deposited in the trust account could, however, become subject to the claims of our creditors which would have higher priority than the claims of our public shareholders. We cannot assure you that the
actual per-share redemption
amount received by shareholders will not be less than $10.00. While we intend to pay such amounts, if any, we cannot assure you that we will have funds sufficient to pay or provide for all creditors’ claims.
Although we will seek to have all vendors, service providers, prospective target businesses and other entities with which we do business execute agreements with us waiving any right, title, interest or claim of any kind in or to any monies held in the trust account for the benefit of our public shareholders, there is no guarantee that they will execute such agreements or even if they execute such agreements that they would be prevented from bringing claims against the trust account including, but not limited, to fraudulent inducement, breach of fiduciary responsibility or other similar claims, as well as claims challenging the enforceability of the waiver, in each case in order to gain an advantage with respect to a claim against our assets, including the funds held in the trust account. If any third-party refuses to execute an agreement waiving such claims to the monies held in the trust account, our management will perform an analysis of the alternatives available to it and will only enter into an agreement with a third-party that has not executed a waiver if management believes that such third-party’s engagement would be significantly more beneficial to us than any alternative. Examples of possible instances where we may engage a third-party that refuses to execute a waiver include the engagement of a third-party consultant whose particular expertise or skills are believed by management to be significantly superior to those of other consultants that would agree to execute a waiver or in cases where management is unable to find a service provider willing to execute a waiver. In addition, there is no guarantee that such entities will agree to waive any claims they may have in the future as a result of, or arising out of, any negotiations, contracts or agreements with us and will not seek recourse against the trust account for any reason. In order to protect the amounts held in the trust account, our Sponsor has agreed that it will be liable to us if and to the extent any claims by a third-
 
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party for services rendered or products sold to us (other than our independent registered public accounting firm), or a prospective target business with which we have discussed entering into a transaction agreement, reduce the amounts in the trust account to below the lesser of (i) $10.00 per public share and (ii) the actual amount per public share held in the trust account as of the date of the liquidation of the trust account if less than $10.00 per public share due to reductions in the value of the trust assets, in each case net of the interest that may be withdrawn to pay our tax obligations,
 provided
 that such liability will not apply to any claims by a third-party or prospective target business that executed a waiver of any and all rights to seek access to the trust account nor will it apply to any claims under our indemnity of the Underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. In the event that an executed waiver is deemed to be unenforceable against a third-party, our Sponsor will not be responsible to the extent of any liability for such third-party claims. However, we have not asked our Sponsor to reserve for such indemnification obligations, nor have we independently verified whether our Sponsor has sufficient funds to satisfy its indemnity obligations and we believe that our Sponsor’s only assets are securities of our Company. Therefore, we cannot assure you that our Sponsor would be able to satisfy those obligations. None of our officers or directors will indemnify us for claims by third parties including, without limitation, claims by vendors and prospective target businesses.
In the event that the proceeds in the trust account are reduced below the lesser of (i) $10.00 per public share and (ii) the actual amount per public share held in the trust account as of the date of the liquidation of the trust account if less than $10.00 per public share due to reductions in the value of the trust assets, in each case net of the amount of interest which may be withdrawn to pay our income tax obligations, and our Sponsor asserts that it is unable to satisfy its indemnification obligations or that it has no indemnification obligations related to a particular claim, our independent directors would determine whether to take legal action against our Sponsor to enforce its indemnification obligations. While we currently expect that our independent directors would take legal action on our behalf against our Sponsor to enforce its indemnification obligations to us, it is possible that our independent directors in exercising their business judgment may choose not to do so in any particular instance for a variety of reasons. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that due to claims of creditors the actual value of
the per-share redemption
price will not be less than $10.00 per public share.
We will seek to reduce the possibility that our Sponsor will have to indemnify the trust account due to claims of creditors by endeavoring to have all vendors, service providers, prospective target businesses or other entities with which we do business execute agreements with us waiving any right, title, interest or claim of any kind in or to monies held in the trust account. Our Sponsor will also not be liable as to any claims under our indemnity of the Underwriters of our initial public offering against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. We will have access to up to $470,000 of proceeds held outside the trust account (as of December 31, 2020) with which to pay any such potential claims (including costs and expenses incurred in connection with our liquidation, currently estimated to be no more than approximately $100,000). In the event that we liquidate and it is subsequently determined that the reserve for claims and liabilities is insufficient, shareholders who received funds from our trust account could be liable for claims made by creditors, however such liability will not be greater than the amount of funds from our trust account received by any such shareholder.
If we file a bankruptcy petition or an involuntary bankruptcy petition is filed against us that is not dismissed, the proceeds held in the trust account could be subject to applicable bankruptcy law, and may be included in our bankruptcy estate and subject to the claims of third parties with priority over the claims of our shareholders. To the extent any bankruptcy claims deplete the trust account, we cannot assure you we will be able to return $10.00 per public share to our public shareholders. Additionally, if we file a bankruptcy petition or an involuntary bankruptcy petition is filed against us that is not dismissed, any distributions received by shareholders could be viewed under applicable debtor/creditor and/or bankruptcy laws as either a “preferential transfer” or a “fraudulent conveyance.” As a result, a bankruptcy court could seek to recover some or all amounts received by our shareholders. Furthermore, our board of directors may be viewed as having breached its fiduciary duty to our creditors and/or may have acted in bad faith, and thereby exposing itself and our Company to claims of punitive damages, by paying public shareholders from the trust account prior to addressing the claims of creditors. We cannot assure you that claims will not be brought against us for these reasons.
Our public shareholders are entitled to receive funds from the trust account only (i) in the event of the redemption of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering, (ii) in connection with a shareholder vote to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) to modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares, or (iii) if they redeem their respective shares for cash upon the completion of the initial business combination. Public shareholders who redeem their Class A ordinary shares in connection with a shareholder vote described in clause (ii) in the preceding sentence shall
 
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not be entitled to funds from the trust account upon the subsequent completion of an initial business combination or liquidation if we have not consummated an initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering, with respect to such Class A ordinary shares so redeemed. In no other circumstances will a shareholder have any right or interest of any kind to or in the trust account. In the event we seek shareholder approval in connection with our initial business combination, a shareholder’s voting in connection with the business combination alone will not result in a shareholder’s redeeming its shares to us for an applicable pro rata share of the trust account. Such shareholder must have also exercised its redemption rights described above. These provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, like all provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, may be amended with a shareholder vote.
Competition
In identifying, evaluating and selecting a target business for our initial business combination, we may encounter intense competition from other entities having a business objective similar to ours, including other blank check companies, private equity groups and leveraged buyout funds, public companies, and operating businesses seeking strategic acquisitions. Many of these entities are well established and have extensive experience identifying and effecting business combinations directly or through affiliates. Moreover, many of these competitors possess greater financial, technical, human and other resources than us. Our ability to acquire larger target businesses will be limited by our available financial resources. This inherent limitation gives others an advantage in pursuing the acquisition of a target business. Furthermore, our obligation to pay cash in connection with our public shareholders who exercise their redemption rights may reduce the resources available to us for our initial business combination and our outstanding warrants, and the future dilution they potentially represent, may not be viewed favorably by certain target businesses. Either of these factors may place us at a competitive disadvantage in successfully negotiating an initial business combination.
Facilities
We currently maintain our executive offices at 1133 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. The cost for our use of this space is included in the $10,000 per month fee we will pay to an affiliate of our Sponsor for office space, administrative and support services. We consider our current office space adequate for our current operations.
Employees
We currently have two executive officers. These individuals are not obligated to devote any specific number of hours to our matters but they intend to devote as much of their time as they deem necessary to our affairs until we have completed our initial business combination. The amount of time they will devote in any time period will vary based on whether a target business has been selected for our initial business combination and the stage of the business combination process we are in. We do not intend to have any full time employees prior to the completion of our initial business combination.
Periodic Reporting and Financial Information
We have registered our units, Class A ordinary shares and warrants under the Exchange Act and have reporting obligations, including the requirement that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with the SEC. In accordance with the requirements of the Exchange Act, this Report contains and our subsequent annual reports will contain financial statements audited and reported on by our independent registered public accountants.
We will provide shareholders with audited financial statements of the prospective target business as part of the proxy solicitation or tender offer materials, as applicable, sent to shareholders. These financial statements may be required to be prepared in accordance with, or reconciled to, accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”), or International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), depending on the circumstances, and the historical financial statements may be required to be audited in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”). These financial statement requirements may limit the pool of potential target businesses we may acquire because some targets may be unable to provide such statements in time for us to disclose such statements in accordance with federal proxy rules and complete our initial business combination within the prescribed time frame. We cannot assure you that any particular target business identified by us as a potential acquisition candidate will have financial statements prepared in accordance with the requirements outlined above, or that the potential target business will be able to prepare its financial statements in accordance with the requirements outlined above. To the extent that these requirements cannot be met, we may not be able to acquire the proposed target business. While this may limit the pool of potential acquisition candidates, we do not believe that this limitation will be material.
 
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We have filed a Registration Statement on
Form 8-A with
the SEC to voluntarily register our securities under Section 12 of the Exchange Act. As a result, we are subject to the rules and regulations promulgated under the Exchange Act. We have no current intention of filing a Form 15 to suspend our reporting or other obligations under the Exchange Act prior or subsequent to the consummation of our initial business combination.
We are a Cayman Islands exempted company. Exempted companies are Cayman Islands companies conducting business mainly outside the Cayman Islands and, as such, are exempted from complying with certain provisions of the Companies Act. As an exempted company, we have applied for and expect to receive a tax exemption undertaking from the Cayman Islands government that, in accordance with Section 6 of the Tax Concessions Act (As Revised) of the Cayman Islands, for a period of 20 years from the date of the undertaking, no law which is enacted in the Cayman Islands imposing any tax to be levied on profits, income, gains or appreciations will apply to us or our operations and, in addition, that no tax to be levied on profits, income, gains or appreciations or which is in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax will be payable (i) on or in respect of our shares, debentures or other obligations or (ii) by way of the withholding in whole or in part of a payment of dividend or other distribution of income or capital by us to our shareholders or a payment of principal or interest or other sums due under a debenture or other obligation of us.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act, as modified by the JOBS Act. As such, we are eligible to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding
a non-binding advisory
vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. If some investors find our securities less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our securities and the prices of our securities may be more volatile.
We will be required to evaluate our internal control procedures for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021 as required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Only in the event we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer or an accelerated filer and no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, would we be required to comply with the independent registered public accounting firm attestation requirement on our internal control over financial reporting. A target business may not be in compliance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regarding adequacy of their internal controls. The development of the internal controls of any such entity to achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may increase the time and costs necessary to complete any such acquisition.
In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We intend to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial public offering, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our Class A ordinary shares that are held
by non-affiliates exceeds
$700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion
in non-convertible debt
securities during the prior three-year period.
Additionally, we are a “smaller reporting company” as defined in Item 10(f)(1) of
Regulation S-K. Smaller
reporting companies may take advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations, including, among other things, providing only two years of audited financial statements, and, if their revenues are less than $100 million, not providing an independent registered public accounting firm attestation on internal control over financial reporting. We will remain a smaller reporting company until the last day of the fiscal year in which (1) the market value of our ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates equals
or exceeds $250 million as of the prior June 30, and (2) our annual revenues equaled or exceeded $100 million during such completed fiscal year and the market value of our ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates equals
or exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30.
 
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
You should consider carefully all of the risks described below, together with the other information contained in this Report, including the financial statements, before making a decision to invest in our securities. If any of the following events occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. The risk factors described below are not necessarily exhaustive and you are encouraged to perform your own investigation with respect to us and our business.
Risks Relating to our Search for, and Consummation of or Inability to Consummate, a Business Combination
Our public shareholders may not be afforded an opportunity to vote on our proposed initial business combination, which means we may complete our initial business combination even if a majority of our public shareholders do not support such a combination
.
We may choose not to hold a shareholder vote before we complete our initial business combination if the business combination would not require shareholder approval under applicable law or NASDAQ rules. For instance, if we were seeking to acquire a target business where the consideration we were paying in the transaction was all cash, we would typically not be required to seek shareholder approval to complete such a transaction. Except for as required by applicable law or NASDAQ, the decision as to whether we will seek shareholder approval of a proposed business combination or will allow shareholders to sell their shares to us in a tender offer will be made by us, solely in our discretion, and will be based on a variety of factors, such as the timing of the transaction and whether the terms of the transaction would otherwise require us to seek shareholder approval. Accordingly, we may complete our initial business combination even if holders of a majority of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares do not approve of the business combination we complete.
If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination, after approval of our board, our Sponsor and members of our management team have agreed to vote in favor of such initial business combination, regardless of how our public shareholders vote.
Our Sponsor collectively and beneficially owns 20% of our outstanding ordinary shares. Our Sponsor and members of our management team also may from time to time purchase Class A ordinary shares prior to our initial business combination. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that, if we seek shareholder approval, we will complete our initial business combination only if a simple majority of the ordinary shares, represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote thereon, voted at a shareholder meeting are voted in favor of the business combination, after approval of our board. As a result, in addition to our initial shareholders’ founder shares, we would need 9,375,000, or 37.5%, or 1,562,500, or 6.25% (assuming only the minimum number of shares representing a quorum are voted), of the 25,000,000 public shares sold in our initial public offering to be voted in favor of an initial business combination, after approval of our board, in order to have our initial business combination approved. Accordingly, if we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination, the agreement by our Sponsor and each member of our management team to vote in favor of our initial business combination will increase the likelihood that we will receive the requisite shareholder approval for such initial business combination.
The only opportunity of our public shareholders to affect the investment decision regarding a potential business combination may be limited to the exercise of their right to redeem your shares from us for cash.
At the time of the investment in us, our public shareholders were not provided with an opportunity to evaluate the specific merits or risks of any target businesses. Since our board of directors may complete a business combination without seeking shareholder approval, public shareholders may not have the right or opportunity to vote on the business combination, unless we seek such shareholder approval. Accordingly, the only opportunity of our public shareholders to affect the investment decision regarding a potential business combination may be limited to exercising their redemption rights within the period of time (which will be at least twenty (20) business days) set forth in our tender offer documents mailed to our public shareholders in which we describe our initial business combination.
 
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The ability of our public shareholders to redeem their shares for cash may make our financial condition unattractive to potential business combination targets, which may make it difficult for us to enter into a business combination with a target
.
We may seek to enter into a business combination transaction agreement with a prospective target that requires as a closing condition that we have a minimum net worth or a certain amount of cash. If too many public shareholders exercise their redemption rights, we would not be able to meet such closing condition and, as a result, would not be able to proceed with the business combination. Furthermore, in no event will we redeem our public shares in an amount that would cause our net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001 (so that we do not then become subject to the SEC’s “penny stock” rules). Consequently, if accepting all properly submitted redemption requests would cause our net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001 or such greater amount necessary to satisfy a closing condition as described above, we would not proceed with such redemption and the related business combination and may instead search for an alternate business combination. Prospective targets will be aware of these risks and, thus, may be reluctant to enter into a business combination transaction with us.
The ability of our public shareholders to exercise redemption rights with respect to a large number of our shares may not allow us to complete the most desirable business combination or optimize our capital structure.
At the time we enter into an agreement for our initial business combination, we will not know how many shareholders may exercise their redemption rights, and therefore will need to structure the transaction based on our expectations as to the number of shares that will be submitted for redemption. If a large number of shares are submitted for redemption, we may need to restructure the transaction to reserve a greater portion of the cash in the trust account or arrange for additional third-party financing. Raising additional third-party financing may involve dilutive equity issuances or the incurrence of indebtedness at higher than desirable levels. The above considerations may limit our ability to complete the most desirable business combination available to us or optimize our capital structure. The amount of the deferred underwriting commissions payable to the Underwriters will not be adjusted for any shares that are redeemed in connection with an initial business combination.
The per-share amount
we will distribute to shareholders who properly exercise their redemption rights will not be reduced by the deferred underwriting commission and after such redemptions, the amount held in trust will continue to reflect our obligation to pay the entire deferred underwriting commissions.
The ability of our public shareholders to exercise redemption rights with respect to a large number of our shares could increase the probability that our initial business combination would be unsuccessful and that you would have to wait for liquidation in order to redeem your shares.
If our initial business combination agreement requires us to use a portion of the cash in the trust account to pay the purchase price, or requires us to have a minimum amount of cash at closing, the probability that our initial business combination would be unsuccessful is increased. If our initial business combination is unsuccessful, you would not receive your pro rata portion of the funds in the trust account until we liquidate the trust account. If you are in need of immediate liquidity, you could attempt to sell your shares in the open market; however, at such time our shares may trade at a discount to the pro rata amount per share in the trust account. In either situation, you may suffer a material loss on your investment or lose the benefit of funds expected in connection with our redemption of our public shares until we liquidate or you are able to sell your shares in the open market.
The requirement that we consummate an initial business combination within 24 months after the closing of our initial public offering may give potential target businesses leverage over us in negotiating a business combination and may limit the time we have in which to conduct due diligence on potential business combination targets, in particular as we approach our business combination deadline, which could undermine our ability to complete our initial business combination on terms that would be beneficial to our shareholders.
Any potential target business with which we enter into negotiations concerning a business combination will be aware that we must consummate an initial business combination by September 21, 2022. Consequently, such target business may obtain leverage over us in negotiating a business combination, knowing that if we do not complete our initial business combination with that particular target business, we may be unable to complete our initial business combination with any target business. This risk will increase as we get closer to the time frame described above. In addition, we may have limited time to conduct due diligence and may enter into our initial business combination on terms that we would have rejected upon a more comprehensive investigation.
Our search for a business combination, and any target business with which we ultimately consummate a business combination, may be materially adversely affected by the
coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
and the status of debt and equity markets.
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization characterized the coronavirus
(“COVID-19”)
outbreak as a “pandemic.”
The COVID-19 outbreak
has resulted in, and a significant outbreak of other infectious diseases could result in, a widespread health crisis adversely affecting the economies and financial markets worldwide, potentially including the business of any potential target business with which we intend to consummate a business combination. Furthermore, we may be unable to evaluate possible business combination opportunities or complete a business combination at all if concerns relating
 
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to COVID-19 continue
to restrict travel, limit the ability to have meetings with potential investors or make it impossible or impractical to negotiate and consummate a transaction with the target company’s personnel, vendors and service providers in a timely manner, if at all. The extent to
which COVID-19 impacts
our search for a business combination will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including the actions to
contain COVID-19 or
its impact, among others. The disruptions posed
by COVID-19 or
other public health emergencies, diseases or matters of global concern could materially adversely affect our ability to consummate a business combination, or the operations of a target business with which we ultimately consummate a business combination.
In addition, our ability to consummate a transaction may be dependent on the ability to raise equity and debt financing which may be impacted
by COVID-19 and
other events, including as a result of increased market volatility, decreased market liquidity and third-party financing being unavailable on terms acceptable to us or at all.
We may not be able to consummate an initial business combination within prescribed time frame, in which case we would cease all operations except for the purpose of winding up and we would redeem our public shares and liquidate.
We may not be able to find a suitable target business and consummate an initial business combination by September 21, 2022. Our ability to complete our initial business combination may be negatively impacted by general market conditions, volatility in the capital and debt markets and the other risks described herein. For example, the outbreak
of COVID-19 continues
to grow both in the U.S. and globally, and while the extent of the impact of the outbreak on us will depend on future developments, it could limit our ability to complete our initial business combination, including as a result of increased market volatility, decreased market liquidity and third-party financing being unavailable on terms acceptable to us or at all. Additionally, the outbreak
of COVID-19 may
negatively impact businesses we may seek to acquire. If we have not consummated an initial business combination within such applicable time period, we will: (i) cease all operations except for the purpose of winding up; (ii) as promptly as reasonably possible but not more than ten (10) business days thereafter, redeem the public shares, at
a per-share price,
payable in cash, equal to the aggregate amount then on deposit in the trust account, including interest earned on the funds held in the trust account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any (less up to $100,000 of interest to pay dissolution expenses), divided by the number of the then-outstanding public shares, which redemption will completely extinguish public shareholders’ rights as shareholders (including the right to receive further liquidation distributions, if any); and (iii) as promptly as reasonably possible following such redemption, subject to the approval of our remaining shareholders and our board of directors, liquidate and dissolve, subject in the case of clauses (ii) and (iii), to our obligations under Cayman Islands law to provide for claims of creditors and the requirements of other applicable law. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that, if a resolution of the Company’s shareholders is passed pursuant to the Companies Act of the Cayman Islands to commence the voluntary liquidation of the Company, we will follow the foregoing procedures with respect to the liquidation of the trust account as promptly as reasonably possible but not more than ten (10) business days thereafter, subject to applicable Cayman Islands law. In either such case, our public shareholders may receive only $10.00 per public share, or less than $10.00 per public share, on the redemption of their shares, and our warrants will expire worthless. See “—If third parties bring claims against us, the proceeds held in the trust account could be reduced and
the per-share redemption
amount received by shareholders may be less than $10.00 per public share” and other risk factors herein.
As the number of special purpose acquisition companies evaluating targets increases, attractive targets may become scarcer and there may be more competition for attractive targets. This could increase the cost of our initial business combination and could even result in our inability to find a target or to consummate an initial business combination.
In recent years, the number of special purpose acquisition companies that have been formed has increased substantially. Many potential targets for special purpose acquisition companies have already entered into an initial business combination, and there are still many special purpose acquisition companies preparing for an initial public offering, as well as many such companies currently in registration. As a result, at times, fewer attractive targets may be available to consummate an initial business combination.
In addition, because there are more special purpose acquisition companies seeking to enter into an initial business combination with available targets, the competition for available targets with attractive fundamentals or business models may increase, which could cause targets companies to demand improved financial terms. Attractive deals could also become scarcer for other reasons, such as economic or industry sector downturns, geopolitical tensions, or increases in the cost of additional capital needed to close business combinations or operate targets post-business combination. This could increase the cost of, delay or otherwise complicate or frustrate our ability to find and consummate an initial business combination, and may be unable to consummate an initial business combination on terms favorable to our investors altogether.
 
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If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination, our Sponsor, directors, executive officers, advisors and their affiliates may elect to purchase public shares or warrants, which may influence a vote on a proposed business combination and reduce the public “float” of our Class
 A ordinary shares or public warrants
.
If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination and we do not conduct redemptions in connection with our initial business combination pursuant to the tender offer rules, our Sponsor, directors, executive officers, advisors or their affiliates may purchase public shares or warrants in privately negotiated transactions or in the open market either prior to or following the completion of our initial business combination, although they are under no obligation to do so. However, they have no current commitments, plans or intentions to engage in such transactions and have not formulated any terms or conditions for any such transactions. None of the funds in the trust account will be used to purchase public shares or warrants in such transactions.
In the event that our Sponsor, directors, executive officers, advisors or their affiliates purchase shares in privately negotiated transactions from public shareholders who have already elected to exercise their redemption rights, such selling shareholders would be required to revoke their prior elections to redeem their shares. The purpose of any such transaction could be to (1) vote in favor of the business combination and thereby increase the likelihood of obtaining shareholder approval of the business combination if we sought such shareholder approval or such shareholder approval was required by law, (2) reduce the number of public warrants outstanding or vote such warrants on any matters submitted to the warrant holders for approval in connection with our initial business combination or (3) satisfy a closing condition in an agreement with a target that requires us to have a minimum net worth or a certain amount of cash at the closing of our initial business combination, where it appears that such requirement would otherwise not be met. Any such purchases of our securities may result in the completion of our initial business combination that may not otherwise have been possible. In addition, if such purchases are made, the public “float” of our Class A ordinary shares or public warrants may be reduced and the number of beneficial holders of our securities may be reduced, which may make it difficult to maintain the quotation, listing or trading of our securities on a national securities exchange. Any such purchases will be reported pursuant to Section 13 and Section 16 of the Exchange Act to the extent such purchasers are subject to such reporting requirements. See “Item 1—Business—Permitted Purchases of Our Securities” for a description of how our Sponsor, directors, executive officers, advisors or their affiliates will select which shareholders to purchase securities from in any private transaction.
If a shareholder fails to receive notice of our offer to redeem our public shares in connection with our initial business combination, or fails to comply with the procedures for tendering its shares, such shares may not be redeemed
.
We will comply with the proxy rules or tender offer rules, as applicable, when conducting redemptions in connection with our initial business combination. Despite our compliance with these rules, if a shareholder fails to receive our tender offer documents or proxy materials, as applicable, such shareholder may not become aware of the opportunity to redeem its shares. In addition, the tender offer documents or proxy materials, as applicable, that we will furnish to holders of our public shares in connection with our initial business combination will describe the various procedures that must be complied with in order to validly redeem or tender public shares. In the event that a shareholder fails to comply with these procedures, its shares may not be redeemed.
You will not be entitled to protections normally afforded to investors of many other blank check companies
.
Since the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants are intended to be used to complete an initial business combination with a target business that has not been selected, we are considered to be a “blank check” company under the United States securities laws. However, because we will have net tangible assets in excess of $5,000,001, we are exempt from rules promulgated by the SEC to protect investors in blank check companies, such as Rule 419. Accordingly, investors will not be afforded the benefits or protections of those rules. Among other things, this means that since our units were immediately tradable and we will have a longer period of time to complete our initial business combination than do companies subject to Rule 419. Moreover, if our initial public offering were subject to Rule 419, that rule would have prohibited the release of any interest earned on funds held in the trust account to us unless and until the funds in the trust account were released to us in connection with our completion of an initial business combination.
 
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If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination and we do not conduct redemptions pursuant to the tender offer rules, and if you or a “group” of shareholders are deemed to hold in excess of 15% of our Class
 A ordinary shares, you will lose the ability to redeem all such shares in excess of 15% of our Class
 A ordinary shares
.
If we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination and we do not conduct redemptions in connection with our initial business combination pursuant to the tender offer rules, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provides that a public shareholder, together with any affiliate of such shareholder or any other person with whom such shareholder is acting in concert or as a “group” (as defined under Section 13 of the Exchange Act), will be restricted from redeeming its shares with respect to more than an aggregate of 15% of the shares sold in our initial public offering, which we refer to as the “Excess Shares,” without our prior consent. However, we would not be restricting our shareholders’ ability to vote all of their shares (including Excess Shares) for or against our initial business combination. Your inability to redeem the Excess Shares will reduce your influence over our ability to complete our initial business combination and you could suffer a material loss on your investment in us if you sell Excess Shares in open market transactions. Additionally, you will not receive redemption distributions with respect to the Excess Shares if we complete our initial business combination. And as a result, you will continue to hold that number of shares exceeding 15% and, in order to dispose of such shares, would be required to sell your shares in open market transactions, potentially at a loss.
Because of our limited resources and the significant competition for business combination opportunities, it may be more difficult for us to complete our initial business combination. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless.
We have encountered and expect to continue encountering intense competition from other entities having a business objective similar to ours, including private investors (which may be individuals or investment partnerships), other blank check companies and other entities, domestic and international, competing for the types of businesses we intend to acquire. Many of these individuals and entities are well established and have extensive experience in identifying and effecting, directly or indirectly, acquisitions of companies operating in or providing services to various industries. Many of these competitors possess greater technical, human and other resources or more local industry knowledge than we do and our financial resources are relatively limited when contrasted with those of many of these competitors. While we believe there are numerous target businesses we could potentially acquire with the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants, our ability to compete with respect to the acquisition of certain target businesses that are sizable is limited by our available financial resources. This inherent competitive limitation gives others an advantage in pursuing the acquisition of certain target businesses. Furthermore, we are obligated to offer holders of our public shares the right to redeem their shares for cash at the time of our initial business combination in conjunction with a shareholder vote or via a tender offer. Target companies will be aware that this may reduce the resources available to us for our initial business combination. Any of these obligations may place us at a competitive disadvantage in successfully negotiating a business combination. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless. See “—If third parties bring claims against us, the proceeds held in the trust account could be reduced and
the per-share redemption
amount received by shareholders may be less than $10.00 per public share” and other risk factors herein.
If the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants not being held in the trust account are insufficient to allow us to operate until September
 21, 2022, it could limit the amount available to fund our search for a target business or businesses and our ability to complete our initial business combination, and we will depend on loans from our Sponsor, its affiliates or members of our management team to fund our search and to complete our initial business combination
.
Of the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants, only approximately $470,000 is available to us outside the trust account (as of December 2020) to fund our working capital requirements. We believe that, upon the closing of our initial public offering, the funds available to us outside of the trust account, together with funds available from loans from our Sponsor, its affiliates or members of our management team will be sufficient to allow us to operate for at least the 24 months following the closing of our initial public offering; however, we cannot assure you that our estimate is accurate, and our Sponsor, its affiliates or members of our management team are under no obligation to advance funds to us in such circumstances. Of the funds available to us, we expect to use a portion of the funds available to us to pay fees to consultants to assist us with our search for a target business. We could also use a portion of the funds as a down payment or to fund
a “no-shop” provision
(a provision in letters of intent designed to keep target businesses from “shopping” around for transactions with other companies or investors on terms more favorable to such target businesses) with respect to a particular proposed business combination, although we do not have any current intention to do so. If we entered into a letter of intent where we paid for the right to receive exclusivity from a target business and were subsequently required to forfeit such funds (whether as a result of our breach or otherwise), we might not have sufficient funds to continue searching for, or conduct due diligence with respect to, a target business.
 
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In the event that our offering expenses exceed our estimate of $1,000,000, we may fund such excess with funds not to be held in the trust account. In such case, unless funded by the proceeds of loans available from our Sponsor, its affiliates or members of our management team the amount of funds we intend to be held outside the trust account would decrease by a corresponding amount. Conversely, in the event that the offering expenses are less than our estimate of $1,000,000, the amount of funds we intend to be held outside the trust account would increase by a corresponding amount. The amount held in the trust account will not be impacted as a result of such increase or decrease. If we are required to seek additional capital, we would need to borrow funds from our Sponsor, its affiliates, members of our management team, or other third parties to operate or may be forced to liquidate. Neither our Sponsor, members of our management team nor their affiliates is under any obligation to us in such circumstances. Any such advances may be repaid only from funds held outside the trust account or from funds released to us upon completion of our initial business combination. Up to $1,500,000 of such loans may be convertible into warrants of the post-business combination entity at a price of $1.50 per warrant at the option of the lender. The warrants would be identical to the private placement warrants. Prior to the completion of our initial business combination, we do not expect to seek loans from parties other than our Sponsor, its affiliates or members of our management team as we do not believe third parties will be willing to loan such funds and provide a waiver against any and all rights to seek access to funds in our trust account. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period because we do not have sufficient funds available to us, we will be forced to cease operations and liquidate the trust account. Consequently, our public shareholders may only receive an estimated $10.00 per public share, or possibly less, on our redemption of our public shares, and our warrants will expire worthless. See “—If third parties bring claims against us, the proceeds held in the trust account could be reduced and
the per-share redemption
amount received by shareholders may be less than $10.00 per public share” and other risk factors herein.
If third parties bring claims against us, the proceeds held in the trust account could be reduced and the
 per-share
 redemption amount received by shareholders may be less than $10.00 per public share
.
Our placing of funds in the trust account may not protect those funds from third-party claims against us. Although we will seek to have all vendors, service providers, prospective target businesses and other entities with which we do business execute agreements with us waiving any right, title, interest or claim of any kind in or to any monies held in the trust account for the benefit of our public shareholders, such parties may not execute such agreements, or even if they execute such agreements, they may not be prevented from bringing claims against the trust account, including, but not limited to, fraudulent inducement, breach of fiduciary responsibility or other similar claims, as well as claims challenging the enforceability of the waiver, in each case in order to gain advantage with respect to a claim against our assets, including the funds held in the trust account. If any third-party refuses to execute an agreement waiving such claims to the monies held in the trust account, our management will perform an analysis of the alternatives available to it and will only enter into an agreement with a third-party that has not executed a waiver if management believes that such third-party’s engagement would be significantly more beneficial to us than any alternative.
Examples of possible instances where we may engage a third-party that refuses to execute a waiver include the engagement of a third-party consultant whose particular expertise or skills are believed by management to be significantly superior to those of other consultants that would agree to execute a waiver or in cases where management is unable to find a service provider willing to execute a waiver. In addition, there is no guarantee that such entities will agree to waive any claims they may have in the future as a result of, or arising out of, any negotiations, contracts or agreements with us and will not seek recourse against the trust account for any reason. Upon redemption of our public shares, if we have not consummated an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, or upon the exercise of a redemption right in connection with our initial business combination, we will be required to provide for payment of claims of creditors that were not waived that may be brought against us within the ten (10) years following redemption. Accordingly,
the per-share redemption
amount received by public shareholders could be less than the $10.00 per public share initially held in the trust account, due to claims of such creditors. Pursuant to the letter agreement, the form of which is filed as an exhibit to this Report, our Sponsor has agreed that it will be liable to us if and to the extent any claims by a third-party (other than our independent auditors) for services rendered or products sold to us, or a prospective target business with which we have discussed entering into a transaction agreement, reduce the amounts in the trust account to below the lesser of (i) $10.00 per public share and (ii) the actual amount per public share held in the trust account as of the date of the liquidation of the trust account if less than $10.00 per public share due to reductions in the value of the trust assets, in each case net of the interest that may be withdrawn to pay our tax obligations, provided that such liability will not apply to any claims by a third-party or prospective target business that executed a waiver of any and all rights to seek access to the trust account nor will it apply to any claims under our indemnity of the Underwriters of our initial public offering against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Moreover, in the event that an executed waiver is deemed to be unenforceable against a third-party, our Sponsor will not be responsible to the extent of any liability for such third-party claims.
However, we have not asked our Sponsor to reserve for such indemnification obligations, nor have we independently verified whether our Sponsor has sufficient funds to satisfy its indemnity obligations and we believe that our Sponsor’s only assets are securities of our Company. Therefore, we cannot assure you that our Sponsor would be able to satisfy those obligations. As a result, if any such claims were successfully made against the trust account, the funds available for our initial business combination and redemptions could be reduced to less than $10.00 per public share. In such event, we may not be able to complete our initial business combination, and you would receive such lesser amount per share in connection with any redemption of your public shares. None of our officers or directors will indemnify us for claims by third parties including, without limitation, claims by vendors and prospective target businesses.
 
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Our directors may decide not to enforce the indemnification obligations of our Sponsor, resulting in a reduction in the amount of funds in the trust account available for distribution to our public shareholders.
In the event that the proceeds in the trust account are reduced below the lesser of (i) $10.00 per public share and (ii) the actual amount per public share held in the trust account as of the date of the liquidation of the trust account if less than $10.00 per public share due to reductions in the value of the trust assets, in each case net of the interest that may be withdrawn to pay our tax obligations, and our Sponsor asserts that it is unable to satisfy its obligations or that it has no indemnification obligations related to a particular claim, our independent directors would determine whether to take legal action against our Sponsor to enforce its indemnification obligations. While we currently expect that our independent directors would take legal action on our behalf against our Sponsor to enforce its indemnification obligations to us, it is possible that our independent directors in exercising their business judgment and subject to their fiduciary duties may choose not to do so in any particular instance for a variety of reasons. If our independent directors choose not to enforce these indemnification obligations, the amount of funds in the trust account available for distribution to our public shareholders may be reduced below $10.00 per public share.
We may not have sufficient funds to satisfy indemnification claims of our directors and executive officers
.
We have agreed to indemnify our officers and directors to the fullest extent permitted by law. However, our officers and directors have agreed to waive any right, title, interest or claim of any kind in or to any monies in the trust account and to not seek recourse against the trust account for any reason whatsoever (except to the extent they are entitled to funds from the trust account due to their ownership of public shares). Accordingly, any indemnification provided will be able to be satisfied by us only if (i) we have sufficient funds outside of the trust account or (ii) we consummate an initial business combination. Our obligation to indemnify our officers and directors may discourage shareholders from bringing a lawsuit against our officers or directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. These provisions also may have the effect of reducing the likelihood of derivative litigation against our officers and directors, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise benefit us and our shareholders. Furthermore, a shareholder’s investment may be adversely affected to the extent we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against our officers and directors pursuant to these indemnification provisions.
The securities in which we invest the proceeds held in the trust account could bear a negative rate of interest, which could reduce the interest income available for payment of taxes or reduce the value of the assets held in trust such that the per share redemption amount received by shareholders may be less than $10.00 per share
.
The net proceeds of our initial public offering and certain proceeds from the sale of the private placement warrants, in the amount of $250,000,000 may only be invested in direct U.S. Treasury obligations having a maturity of 185 days or less, or in certain money market funds which invest only in direct U.S. Treasury obligations. While short-term U.S. Treasury obligations currently yield a positive rate of interest, they have briefly yielded negative interest rates in recent years. Central banks in Europe and Japan pursued interest rates below zero in recent years, and the Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve has not ruled out the possibility that it may in the future adopt similar policies in the United States. In the event of very low or negative yields, the amount of interest income (which we may withdraw to pay income taxes, if any) would be reduced. In the event that we are unable to complete our initial business combination, our public shareholders are entitled to receive
their pro-rata share
of the proceeds held in the trust account, plus any interest income. If the balance of the trust account is reduced below $250,000,000 as a result of negative interest rates, the amount of funds in the trust account available for distribution to our public shareholders may be reduced below $10.00 per share.
If, after we distribute the proceeds in the trust account to our public shareholders, we file a bankruptcy petition or an involuntary bankruptcy petition is filed against us that is not dismissed, a bankruptcy court may seek to recover such proceeds, and the members of our board of directors may be viewed as having breached their fiduciary duties to our creditors, thereby exposing the members of our board of directors and us to claims of punitive damages
.
If, after we distribute the proceeds in the trust account to our public shareholders, we file a bankruptcy petition or an involuntary bankruptcy petition is filed against us that is not dismissed, any distributions received by shareholders could be viewed under applicable debtor/creditor and/or bankruptcy laws as either a “preferential transfer” or a “fraudulent conveyance.” As a result, a bankruptcy court could seek to recover some or all amounts received by our shareholders. In addition, our board of directors may be viewed as having breached its fiduciary duty to our creditors and/or having acted in bad faith, thereby exposing itself and us to claims of punitive damages, by paying public shareholders from the trust account prior to addressing the claims of creditors.
 
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If, before distributing the proceeds in the trust account to our public shareholders, we file a bankruptcy petition or an involuntary bankruptcy petition is filed against us that is not dismissed, the claims of creditors in such proceeding may have priority over the claims of our shareholders and the
 per-share
 amount that would otherwise be received by our shareholders in connection with our liquidation may be reduced
.
If, before distributing the proceeds in the trust account to our public shareholders, we file a bankruptcy petition or an involuntary bankruptcy petition is filed against us that is not dismissed, the proceeds held in the trust account could be subject to applicable bankruptcy law, and may be included in our bankruptcy estate and subject to the claims of third parties with priority over the claims of our shareholders. To the extent any bankruptcy claims deplete the trust account,
the per-share amount
that would otherwise be received by our shareholders in connection with our liquidation may be reduced.
If we are deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act, we may be required to institute burdensome compliance requirements and our activities may be restricted, which may make it difficult for us to complete our initial business combination.
If we are deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), our activities may be restricted, including:
 
   
restrictions on the nature of our investments; and
 
   
restrictions on the issuance of securities,
each of which may make it difficult for us to complete our initial business combination.
In addition, we may have imposed upon us burdensome requirements, including:
 
   
registration as an investment company with the SEC;
 
   
adoption of a specific form of corporate structure; and
 
   
reporting, record keeping, voting, proxy and disclosure requirements and other rules and regulations that we are currently not subject to.
In order not to be regulated as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, unless we can qualify for an exclusion, we must ensure that we are engaged primarily in a business other than investing, reinvesting or trading of securities and that our activities do not include investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading “investment securities” constituting more than 40% of our assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. Our business will be to identify and complete a business combination and thereafter to operate the post-transaction business or assets for the long term. We do not plan to buy businesses or assets with a view to resale or profit from their resale. We do not plan to buy unrelated businesses or assets or to be a passive investor.
We do not currently believe that our anticipated principal activities will subject us to the Investment Company Act. To this end, the proceeds held in the trust account may only be invested in United States “government securities” within the meaning of Section 2(a)(16) of the Investment Company Act having a maturity of 185 days or less or in money market funds meeting certain conditions under
Rule 2a-7 promulgated
under the Investment Company Act which invest only in direct U.S. government treasury obligations. Pursuant to the trust agreement, the trustee is not permitted to invest in other securities or assets. By restricting the investment of the proceeds to these instruments, and by having a business plan targeted at acquiring and growing businesses for the long term (rather than on buying and selling businesses in the manner of a merchant bank or private equity fund), we intend to avoid being deemed an “investment company” within the meaning of the Investment Company Act. The trust account is intended as a holding place for funds pending the earliest to occur of either: (i) the completion of our initial business combination; (ii) the redemption of any public shares properly tendered in connection with a shareholder vote to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) to modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination by September 21, 2022 or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares; or (iii) absent our completing an initial business combination by September 21. 2022, our return of the funds held in the trust account to our public shareholders as part of our redemption of the public shares. If we do not invest the proceeds as discussed above, we may be deemed to be subject to the Investment Company Act. If we were deemed to be subject to the Investment Company Act, compliance with these additional regulatory burdens would require additional expenses for which we have not allotted funds and may hinder our ability to complete a business combination. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless.
 
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Changes in laws or regulations, or a failure to comply with any laws and regulations, may adversely affect our business, including our ability to negotiate and complete our initial business combination, and results of operations
.
We are subject to laws and regulations enacted by national, regional and local governments. In particular, we are required to comply with certain SEC and other legal requirements. Compliance with, and monitoring of, applicable laws and regulations may be difficult, time consuming and costly. Those laws and regulations and their interpretation and application may also change from time to time and those changes could have a material adverse effect on our business, investments and results of operations. In addition, a failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations, as interpreted and applied, could have a material adverse effect on our business, including our ability to negotiate and complete our initial business combination, and results of operations.
If we have not consummated an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, our public shareholders may be forced to wait beyond such time before redemption from our trust account.
If we have not consummated an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, the proceeds then on deposit in the trust account, including interest earned on the funds held in the trust account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any (less up to $100,000 of interest to pay dissolution expenses), will be used to fund the redemption of our public shares, as further described herein. Any redemption of public shareholders from the trust account will be effected automatically by function of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association prior to any voluntary winding up. If we are required to wind up, liquidate the trust account and distribute such amount therein, pro rata, to our public shareholders, as part of any liquidation process, such winding up, liquidation and distribution must comply with the applicable provisions of the Companies Act. In that case, investors may be forced to wait beyond September 21, 2022 before the redemption proceeds of our trust account become available to them, and they receive the return of their pro rata portion of the proceeds from our trust account. We have no obligation to return funds to investors prior to the date of their redemption or liquidation unless, prior thereto, we consummate our initial business combination or amend certain provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, and only then in cases where investors have sought to redeem their Class A ordinary shares. Only upon our redemption or any liquidation will public shareholders be entitled to distributions if we do not complete our initial business combination and do not amend certain provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that, if a resolution of the Company’s shareholders is passed pursuant to the Companies Act to commence the voluntary liquidation of the Company, we will follow the foregoing procedures with respect to the liquidation of the trust account as promptly as reasonably possible but not more than ten (10) business days thereafter, subject to applicable Cayman Islands law.
Our shareholders may be held liable for claims by third parties against us to the extent of distributions received by them upon redemption of their shares.
If we are forced to enter into an insolvent liquidation, any distributions received by shareholders could be viewed as an unlawful payment if it was proved that immediately following the date on which the distribution was made, we were unable to pay our debts as they fall due in the ordinary course of business. As a result, a liquidator could seek to recover some or all amounts received by our shareholders. Furthermore, our directors may be viewed as having breached their fiduciary duties to us or our creditors and/or may have acted in bad faith, thereby exposing themselves and our Company to claims, by paying public shareholders from the trust account prior to addressing the claims of creditors. We cannot assure you that claims will not be brought against us for these reasons. We and our directors and officers who knowingly and willfully authorized or permitted any distribution to be paid out of our share premium account while we were unable to pay our debts as they fall due in the ordinary course of business would be guilty of an offence and may be liable for a fine of $18,292.6 and imprisonment for five years in the Cayman Islands.
We may not hold an annual meeting of shareholders until after the consummation of our initial business combination.
In accordance with the NASDAQ corporate governance requirements, we are not required to hold an annual meeting until one year after our first fiscal year end following our listing on the NASDAQ. There is no requirement under the Companies Act for us to hold annual or shareholder meetings to elect directors. Until we hold an annual meeting of shareholders, public shareholders may not be afforded the opportunity to elect directors and to discuss company affairs with management. Our board of directors is divided into three classes with only one class of directors being elected in each year and each class (except for those directors appointed prior to our first annual meeting of shareholders) serving a three-year term.
 
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Holders of Class A ordinary shares are not be entitled to vote on any election of directors we hold prior to our initial business combination.
Prior to our initial business combination, only holders of our founder shares have the right to vote on the election of directors. Holders of our public shares are not entitled to vote on the election of directors during such time. In addition, prior to our initial business combination, holders of a majority of our founder shares may remove a member of the board of directors for any reason. Accordingly, you may not have any say in the management of our Company prior to the consummation of an initial business combination.
Because we are neither limited to evaluating a target business in a particular industry sector nor have we selected any specific target businesses with which to pursue our initial business combination, you will be unable to ascertain the merits or risks of any particular target business’s operations.
We may pursue business combination opportunities in any sector, except that we are not, under our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, permitted to effectuate our initial business combination solely with another blank check company or similar company with nominal operations. Because we have not yet entered into a definitive agreement with any specific target business with respect to a business combination, there is no basis to evaluate the possible merits or risks of any particular target business’s operations, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity, financial condition or prospects. To the extent we complete our initial business combination, we may be affected by numerous risks inherent in the business operations with which we combine. For example, if we combine with a financially unstable business or an entity lacking an established record of sales or earnings, we may be affected by the risks inherent in the business and operations of a financially unstable or a development stage entity. Although our officers and directors will endeavor to evaluate the risks inherent in a particular target business, we cannot assure you that we will properly ascertain or assess all of the significant risk factors or that we will have adequate time to complete due diligence. Furthermore, some of these risks may be outside of our control and leave us with no ability to control or reduce the chances that those risks will adversely impact a target business. We also cannot assure you that an investment in our units will ultimately prove to be more favorable to investors than a direct investment, if such opportunity were available, in a business combination target. Accordingly, any holders who choose to retain their securities following the business combination could suffer a reduction in the value of their securities. Such holders are unlikely to have a remedy for such reduction in value.
We may seek business combination opportunities in industries or sectors which may or may not be outside of our management’s area of expertise
.
Although we have identified general criteria and guidelines for evaluating prospective target businesses, it is possible that a target business with which we enter into our initial business combination will not have all of these positive attributes. If we complete our initial business combination with a target that does not meet some or all of these guidelines, such combination may not be as successful as a combination with a business that does meet all of our general criteria and guidelines. In addition, if we announce a prospective business combination with a target that does not meet our general criteria and guidelines, a greater number of shareholders may exercise their redemption rights, which may make it difficult for us to meet any closing condition with a target business that requires us to have a minimum net worth or a certain amount of cash. In addition, if shareholder approval of the transaction is required by applicable law or stock exchange listing requirements, or we decide to obtain shareholder approval for business or other reasons, it may be more difficult for us to attain shareholder approval of our initial business combination if the target business does not meet our general criteria and guidelines. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless.
We are not required to obtain an opinion from an independent accounting or investment banking firm, and consequently, you may have no assurance from an independent source that the price we are paying for the business is fair to our shareholders from a financial point of view.
Unless we complete our initial business combination with an affiliated entity, we are not required to obtain an opinion from an independent investment banking firm or another independent entity that commonly renders valuation opinions that the price we are paying is fair to our shareholders from a financial point of view. If no opinion is obtained, our shareholders will be relying on the judgment of our board of directors, who will determine fair market value based on standards generally accepted by the financial community. Such standards used will be disclosed in our proxy solicitation or tender offer materials, as applicable, related to our initial business combination.
 
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We may issue additional Class
 A ordinary shares or preference shares to complete our initial business combination or under an employee incentive plan after completion of our initial business combination. We may also issue Class
 A ordinary shares upon the conversion of the founder shares at a ratio greater than
 one-to-one
 at the time of our initial business combination as a result of the anti-dilution provisions contained in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. Any such issuances would dilute the interest of our shareholders and likely present other risks
.
Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association authorizes the issuance of up to 500,000,000 Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share, 50,000,000 Class B ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share, and 5,000,000 preference shares, par value $0.0001 per share. There are currently 25,000,000 and 6,250,000 authorized but unissued Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares, respectively, available for issuance which amount does not take into account shares reserved for issuance upon exercise of outstanding warrants or shares issuable upon conversion of the Class B ordinary shares, if any. The Class B ordinary shares will automatically convert into Class A ordinary shares (which such Class A ordinary shares delivered upon conversion will not have any redemption rights or be entitled to liquidating distributions from the trust account if we fail to consummate an initial business combination) at the time of our initial business combination or earlier at the option of the holders thereof as described herein and in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. There are no preference shares issued and outstanding.
We may issue a substantial number of additional Class A ordinary shares or preference shares to (x) complete our initial business combination or (y) under an employee incentive plan after completion of our initial business combination. We may also issue Class A ordinary shares in connection with our redeeming the warrants or upon conversion of the Class B ordinary shares at a ratio greater
than one-to-one at
the time of our initial business combination as a result of the anti-dilution provisions as set forth herein. However, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide, among other things, that prior to or in connection with our initial business combination, we may not issue additional shares that would entitle the holders thereof to (i) receive funds from the trust account or (ii) vote on any initial business combination or on any other proposal presented to shareholders prior to or in connection with the completion of an initial business combination. These provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, like all provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, may be amended with a shareholder vote. The issuance of additional ordinary or preference shares:
 
   
may significantly dilute the equity interest of investors in our initial public offering, which dilution would increase if the anti-dilution provisions in the Class B ordinary shares resulted in the issuance of Class A ordinary shares on a greater
than one-to-one basis
upon conversion of the Class B ordinary shares;
 
   
may subordinate the rights of holders of Class A ordinary shares if preference shares are issued with rights senior to those afforded our Class A ordinary shares;
 
   
could cause a change in control if a substantial number of Class A ordinary shares are issued, which may affect, among other things, our ability to use our net operating loss carry forwards, if any, and could result in the resignation or removal of our present officers and directors;
 
   
may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of us by diluting the share ownership or voting rights of a person seeking to obtain control of us;
 
   
may adversely affect prevailing market prices for our units, Class A ordinary shares and/or warrants; and
 
   
may not result in adjustment to the exercise price of our warrants.
Unlike some other similarly structured blank check companies, our Sponsor will receive additional Class
 A ordinary shares if we issue shares to consummate an initial business combination
.
The founder shares will automatically convert into Class A ordinary shares (which such Class A ordinary shares delivered upon conversion will not have any redemption rights or be entitled to liquidating distributions from the trust account if we fail to consummate an initial business combination) at the time of our initial business combination or earlier at the option of the holders thereof at a ratio such that the number of Class A ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of all founder shares will equal, in the aggregate, on
an as-converted basis,
20% of the sum of (i) the total number of ordinary shares issued and outstanding upon completion of our initial public offering, plus (ii) the total number of Class A ordinary shares issued or deemed issued or issuable upon conversion or exercise of any equity-linked securities or rights issued or deemed issued, by the Company in connection with or in relation to the consummation of the initial business combination, excluding any Class A ordinary shares or equity-linked securities exercisable for or convertible into Class A ordinary shares issued, deemed issued, or to be issued, to any seller in the initial business combination and any private placement warrants issued to our Sponsor, any of its affiliates or any members of our management team upon conversion of working capital loans. In no event will the Class B ordinary shares convert into Class A ordinary shares at a rate of less
than one-to-one. This
is different than some other similarly structured blank check companies in which the initial shareholders will only be issued an aggregate of 20% of the total number of shares to be outstanding prior to the initial business combination.
 
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Resources could be wasted in researching business combinations that are not completed, which could materially adversely affect subsequent attempts to locate and acquire or merge with another business. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless.
We anticipate that the investigation of each specific target business and the negotiation, drafting and execution of relevant agreements, disclosure documents and other instruments will require substantial management time and attention and substantial costs for accountants, attorneys and others. If we decide not to complete a specific initial business combination, the costs incurred up to that point for the proposed transaction likely would not be recoverable. Furthermore, if we reach an agreement relating to a specific target business, we may fail to complete our initial business combination for any number of reasons including those beyond our control. Any such event will result in a loss to us of the related costs incurred which could materially adversely affect subsequent attempts to locate and acquire or merge with another business. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless.
Investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates may compete with us for acquisition opportunities.
ACON Investments and its affiliates manage several investment vehicles. Investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates may compete with us for acquisition opportunities. If these investment vehicles decide to pursue any such opportunity, we may be precluded from pursuing such opportunities. In addition, investment ideas generated within ACON Investments, including by Mr. Kriger and other persons who may make decisions for the Company, may be suitable for both us and for a current or future investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates and may be directed to such investment vehicles rather than to us, subject to applicable fiduciary duties. Neither ACON Investments nor members of our management team who are also employed by ACON Investments have any obligation to present us with any opportunity for a potential business combination of which they become aware solely in their capacities as officers or managing directors of ACON Investments.
ACON Investments and/or our management, in their capacities as officers or managing directors of ACON Investments or in their other endeavors, may choose to present potential business combinations to the related entities described above, current or future investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates, or third parties, before they present such opportunities to us, subject to applicable fiduciary duties. In addition, ACON Investments or its affiliates may sponsor other blank check companies similar to ours during the period in which we are seeking an initial business combination, and members of our management team may participate in such blank check companies.
We may engage in a business combination with one or more target businesses that have relationships with entities that may be affiliated with our Sponsor, executive officers, directors or initial shareholders, which may raise potential conflicts of interest.
In light of the involvement of our Sponsor, executive officers and directors with other entities, we may decide to acquire one or more businesses affiliated with our Sponsor, executive officers, directors or initial shareholders. Our directors also serve as officers and board members for other entities, including, without limitation, those described under Item 13 “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.” Our Sponsor, officers and directors may sponsor, form or participate in other blank check companies similar to ours during the period in which we are seeking an initial business combination. Such entities may compete with us for business combination opportunities. Our Sponsor, officers and directors are not currently aware of any specific opportunities for us to complete our initial business combination with any entities with which they are affiliated, and there have been no substantive discussions concerning a business combination with any such entity or entities. Although we are not specifically focusing on, or targeting, any transaction with any affiliated entities, we would pursue such a transaction if we determined that such affiliated entity met our criteria and guidelines for a business combination as set forth in Item 1 “Business—Initial Business Combination—Evaluation of a Target Business and Structuring of Our Initial Business Combination” and such transaction was approved by a majority of our independent and disinterested directors. Despite our agreement to obtain an opinion from an independent investment banking firm that is a member of FINRA or from an independent valuation, appraisal or accounting firm, regarding the fairness to our Company from a financial point of view of a business combination with one or more domestic or international businesses affiliated with our Sponsor, executive officers, directors or initial shareholders, potential conflicts of interest still may exist and, as a result, the terms of the business combination may not be as advantageous to our public shareholders as they would be absent any conflicts of interest.
 
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Since our Sponsor, executive officers and directors will lose their entire investment in us if our initial business combination is not completed (other than with respect to public shares they may acquire during or after our initial public offering), a conflict of interest may arise in determining whether a particular business combination target is appropriate for our initial business combination.
On July 27, 2020, our Sponsor paid $25,000, or approximately $0.003 per share, to cover certain expenses on our behalf in consideration of 7,187,500 Class B ordinary shares, par value $0.0001, of which 937,500 Class B ordinary shares were forfeited upon expiry of the Underwriters’ over-allotment option on October 31, 2020. In September 2020, our Sponsor transferred 50,000 Class B ordinary shares to each of our independent directors. Prior to the initial investment in the Company of $25,000 by our Sponsor, the Company had no assets, tangible or intangible.
The per share price of the founder shares was determined by dividing the amount contributed to the Company by the number of founder shares issued. The founder shares will be worthless if we do not complete an initial business combination. In addition, our Sponsor purchased an aggregate of 4,666,667 private placement warrants, each exercisable to purchase one Class A ordinary share at $11.50 per share, subject to adjustment, at a price of $1.50 per warrant ($7,000,000 in the aggregate), in a private placement that closed simultaneously with the closing of our initial public offering. If we do not consummate an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, the private placement warrants will expire worthless. The personal and financial interests of our executive officers and directors may influence their motivation in identifying and selecting a target business combination, completing an initial business combination and influencing the operation of the business following the initial business combination. This risk may become more acute as
the 24-month anniversary
of the closing of our initial public offering nears, which is the deadline for our consummation of an initial business combination.
Our independent registered public accounting firm’s report contains an explanatory paragraph that expresses substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a “going concern.”
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $470,000 in our operating bank account and working capital of approximately $547,000. Further, we expect to incur significant costs in pursuit of our acquisition plans. Management’s plans to address this need for capital through our initial public offering are discussed in the section of this Report titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Our plans to raise capital and to consummate our initial business combination may not be successful. These factors, among others, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern which is also expressed in the report of our public accounting firm. The financial statements contained elsewhere in this Report do not include any adjustments that might result from our inability to consummate our initial public offering or our inability to continue as a going concern.
We may issue notes or other debt securities, or otherwise incur substantial debt, to complete an initial business combination, which may adversely affect our leverage and financial condition and thus negatively impact the value of our shareholders’ investment in us.
Although we have no commitments as of the date of this Report to issue any notes or other debt securities, or to otherwise incur outstanding debt, we may choose to incur substantial debt to complete our initial business combination. We and our officers have agreed that we will not incur any indebtedness unless we have obtained from the lender a waiver of any right, title, interest or claim of any kind in or to the monies held in the trust account. As such, no issuance of debt will affect
the per-share amount
available for redemption from the trust account. Nevertheless, the incurrence of debt could have a variety of negative effects, including:
 
   
default and foreclosure on our assets if our operating revenues after an initial business combination are insufficient to repay our debt obligations;
 
   
acceleration of our obligations to repay the indebtedness even if we make all principal and interest payments when due if we breach certain covenants that require the maintenance of certain financial ratios or reserves without a waiver or renegotiation of that covenant;
 
   
our immediate payment of all principal and accrued interest, if any, if the debt is payable on demand;
 
   
our inability to obtain necessary additional financing if the debt contains covenants restricting our ability to obtain such financing while the debt is outstanding;
 
   
our inability to pay dividends on our Class A ordinary shares;
 
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using a substantial portion of our cash flow to pay principal and interest on our debt, which will reduce the funds available for dividends on our Class A ordinary shares if declared, expenses, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;
 
   
limitations on our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in our business and in the industry in which we operate;
 
   
increased vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions and adverse changes in government regulation; and
 
   
limitations on our ability to borrow additional amounts for expenses, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our strategy and other purposes and other disadvantages compared to our competitors who have less debt.
We may only be able to complete one business combination with the proceeds of the initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants, which will cause us to be solely dependent on a single business, which may have a limited number of products or services and limited operating activities. This lack of diversification may negatively impact our operations and profitability.
The net proceeds from our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants provided us with $240,250,000 that we may use to complete our initial business combination (after taking into account the $8,750,000 of deferred underwriting commissions being held in the trust account and the
estimated non-reimbursed expenses
of our initial public offering).
We may effectuate our initial business combination with a single-target business or multiple-target businesses simultaneously or within a short period of time. However, we may not be able to effectuate our initial business combination with more than one target business because of various factors, including the existence of complex accounting issues and the requirement that we prepare and file pro forma financial statements with the SEC that present operating results and the financial condition of several target businesses as if they had been operated on a combined basis. By completing our initial business combination with only a single entity, our lack of diversification may subject us to numerous economic, competitive and regulatory developments. Further, we would not be able to diversify our operations or benefit from the possible spreading of risks or offsetting of losses, unlike other entities which may have the resources to complete several business combinations in different industries or different areas of a single industry. Accordingly, the prospects for our success may be:
 
   
solely dependent upon the performance of a single business, property or asset; or
 
   
dependent upon the development or market acceptance of a single or limited number of products, processes or services.
This lack of diversification may subject us to numerous economic, competitive and regulatory risks, any or all of which may have a substantial adverse impact upon the particular industry in which we may operate subsequent to our initial business combination.
We may attempt to simultaneously complete business combinations with multiple prospective targets, which may hinder our ability to complete our initial business combination and give rise to increased costs and risks that could negatively impact our operations and profitability.
If we determine to simultaneously acquire several businesses that are owned by different sellers, we will need for each of such sellers to agree that our purchase of its business is contingent on the simultaneous closings of the other business combinations, which may make it more difficult for us, and delay our ability, to complete our initial business combination. With multiple business combinations, we could also face additional risks, including additional burdens and costs with respect to possible multiple negotiations and due diligence (if there are multiple sellers) and the additional risks associated with the subsequent assimilation of the operations and services or products of the acquired companies in a single operating business. If we are unable to adequately address these risks, it could negatively impact our profitability and results of operations.
We may attempt to complete our initial business combination with a private company about which little information is available, which may result in an initial business combination with a company that is not as profitable as we suspected, if at all.
In pursuing our acquisition strategy, we may seek to effectuate our initial business combination with a privately held company. Very little public information generally exists about private companies, and we could be required to make our decision on whether to pursue a potential initial business combination on the basis of limited information, which may result in a business combination with a company that is not as profitable as we suspected, if at all.
 
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We may seek business combination opportunities with a high degree of complexity that require significant operational improvements, which could delay or prevent us from achieving our desired results.
We may seek business combination opportunities with large, highly complex companies that we believe would benefit from operational improvements. While we intend to implement such improvements, to the extent that our efforts are delayed or we are unable to achieve the desired improvements, the business combination may not be as successful as we anticipate.
To the extent we complete our initial business combination with a large complex business or entity with a complex operating structure, we may also be affected by numerous risks inherent in the operations of the business with which we combine, which could delay or prevent us from implementing our strategy. Although our management team will endeavor to evaluate the risks inherent in a particular target business and its operations, we may not be able to properly ascertain or assess all of the significant risk factors until we complete our business combination. If we are not able to achieve our desired operational improvements, or the improvements take longer to implement than anticipated, we may not achieve the gains that we anticipate. Furthermore, some of these risks and complexities may be outside of our control and leave us with no ability to control or reduce the chances that those risks and complexities will adversely impact a target business. Such combination may not be as successful as a combination with a smaller, less complex organization.
We do not have a specified maximum redemption threshold. The absence of such a redemption threshold may make it possible for us to complete our initial business combination with which a substantial majority of our shareholders do not agree.
Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association do not provide a specified maximum redemption threshold, except that in no event will we redeem our public shares in an amount that would cause our net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001 (so that we do not then become subject to the SEC’s “penny stock” rules). As a result, we may be able to complete our initial business combination even if a substantial majority of our public shareholders do not agree with the transaction and have redeemed their shares or, if we seek shareholder approval of our initial business combination and do not conduct redemptions in connection with our initial business combination pursuant to the tender offer rules, have entered into privately negotiated agreements to sell their shares to our Sponsor, officers, directors, advisors or their affiliates. In the event the aggregate cash consideration we would be required to pay for all Class A ordinary shares that are validly submitted for redemption plus any amount required to satisfy cash conditions pursuant to the terms of the proposed business combination exceed the aggregate amount of cash available to us, we will not complete the business combination or redeem any shares, all Class A ordinary shares submitted for redemption will be returned to the holders thereof, and we instead may search for an alternate business combination.
In order to effectuate an initial business combination, blank check companies have, in the recent past, amended various provisions of their charters and other governing instruments, including their warrant agreements. We cannot assure you that we will not seek to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association or governing instruments in a manner that will make it easier for us to complete our initial business combination that our shareholders may not support.
In order to effectuate a business combination, blank check companies have, in the recent past, amended various provisions of their charters and governing instruments, including their warrant agreements. For example, blank check companies have amended the definition of business combination, increased redemption thresholds, extended the time to consummate an initial business combination and, with respect to their warrants, amended their warrant agreements to require the warrants to be exchanged for cash and/or other securities. Amending our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association will require a special resolution of our shareholders as a matter of Cayman Islands law, meaning the approval of holders of at least a
two-thirds (
2
3
) majority (or such higher threshold as specified in the Company’s amended and restated articles of association) of our ordinary shares who attend and vote at a shareholder meeting of the Company, and amending our warrant agreement will require a vote of holders of at least 50% of the public warrants and, solely with respect to any amendment to the terms of the private placement warrants or any provision of the warrant agreement with respect to the private placement warrants, 50% of the number of the then outstanding private placement warrants. In addition, our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association require us to provide our public shareholders with the opportunity to redeem their public shares for cash if we propose an amendment to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) that would modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination by September 21, 2022 or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares. To the extent any of such amendments would be deemed to fundamentally change the nature of any of the securities offered through our initial public offering, we would register, or seek an exemption from registration for, the affected securities. We cannot assure you that we will not seek to amend our charter or governing instruments or extend the time to consummate an initial business combination in order to effectuate our initial business combination.
 
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The provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association that relate to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares (and corresponding provisions of the agreement governing the release of funds from our trust account) may be amended with the approval of a special resolution which requires the approval of the holders of at least a
two-thirds (
2
3
) majority (or such higher threshold as specified in the Company’s amended and restated articles of association) of our ordinary shares who attend and vote at a shareholder meeting of the Company, which is a lower amendment threshold than that of some other blank check companies. It may be easier for us, therefore, to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association to facilitate the completion of an initial business combination that some of our shareholders may not support.
Some other blank check companies have a provision in their charter which prohibits the amendment of certain of its provisions, including those which relate to the rights of a company’s shareholders, without approval by a certain percentage of the Company’s shareholders. In those companies, amendment of these provisions typically requires approval by between 90% and 100% of the Company’s public shareholders.
Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that any of its provisions related to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares (including the requirement to deposit proceeds of our initial public offering and the placement of warrants into the trust account and not release such amounts except in specified circumstances, and to provide redemption rights to public shareholders as described herein) may be amended if approved by special resolution, and corresponding provisions of the trust agreement governing the release of funds from our trust account may be amended if approved by holders of at least 65% of our ordinary shares; provided that the provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association governing the appointment or removal of directors prior to our initial business combination may only be amended by a special resolution passed by not less
than two-thirds of
our ordinary shares who attend and vote at our shareholder meeting which shall include the affirmative vote of a simple majority of our Class B ordinary shares. Our initial shareholders and their permitted transferees, if any, who collectively beneficially own 20% of our Class A ordinary shares, will participate in any vote to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association and/or trust agreement and have the discretion to vote in any manner they choose. As a result, we may be able to amend the provisions of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association which govern
our pre-business combination
behavior more easily than some other blank check companies, and this may increase our ability to complete a business combination with which you do not agree. Our shareholders may pursue remedies against us for any breach of our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association.
Our Sponsor, executive officers and directors have agreed, pursuant to agreements with us, that they will not propose any amendment to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) that would modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination by September 21, 2022 or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares, unless we provide our public shareholders with the opportunity to redeem their Class A ordinary shares upon approval of any such amendment at
a per-share price,
payable in cash, equal to the aggregate amount then on deposit in the trust account, including interest earned on the funds held in the trust account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any, divided by the number of the then-outstanding public shares. Our shareholders are not parties to, or third-party beneficiaries of, these agreements and, as a result, will not have the ability to pursue remedies against our Sponsor, executive officers or directors for any breach of these agreements. As a result, in the event of a breach, our shareholders would need to pursue a shareholder derivative action, subject to applicable law.
We may be unable to obtain additional financing to complete our initial business combination or to fund the operations and growth of a target business, which could compel us to restructure or abandon a particular business combination. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless.
Although we believe that the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants are sufficient to allow us to complete our initial business combination, because we have not yet entered into a definitive agreement with any prospective target business we cannot ascertain the capital requirements for any particular transaction. If the net proceeds of our initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants prove to be insufficient, either because of the size of our initial business combination, the depletion of the available net proceeds in search of a target business, the obligation to redeem for cash a significant number of shares from shareholders who elect redemption in connection with our
 
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initial business combination or the terms of negotiated transactions to purchase shares in connection with our initial business combination, we may be required to seek additional financing or to abandon the proposed business combination. We cannot assure you that such financing will be available on acceptable terms, if at all. The current economic environment may make it difficult for companies to obtain acquisition financing. To the extent that additional financing proves to be unavailable when needed to complete our initial business combination, we would be compelled to either restructure the transaction or abandon that particular business combination and seek an alternative target business candidate. If we have not consummated our initial business combination within the required time period, our public shareholders may receive only approximately $10.00 per public share, or less than such amount in certain circumstances, on the liquidation of our trust account and our warrants will expire worthless. In addition, even if we do not need additional financing to complete our initial business combination, we may require such financing to fund the operations or growth of the target business. The failure to secure additional financing could have a material adverse effect on the continued development or growth of the target business. None of our officers, directors or shareholders is required to provide any financing to us in connection with or after our initial business combination.
Our Sponsor controls a substantial interest in us and thus may exert a substantial influence on actions requiring a shareholder vote, potentially in a manner that you do not support.
Our Sponsor collectively and beneficially owns, on
an as-converted basis,
20% of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares. Accordingly, it may exert a substantial influence on actions requiring a shareholder vote, potentially in a manner that you do not support, including amendments to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. If our Sponsor purchases any additional Class A ordinary shares in the aftermarket or in privately negotiated transactions, this would increase its control. Neither our Sponsor nor, to our knowledge, any of our officers or directors, have any current intention to purchase additional securities, other than as disclosed in this Report. Factors that would be considered in making such additional purchases would include consideration of the current trading price of our Class A ordinary shares. In addition, our board of directors, whose members were elected by our Sponsor, is and will be divided into three classes, each of which will generally serve for a term of three years with only one class of directors being elected in each year. We may not hold an annual meeting of shareholders to elect new directors prior to the completion of our initial business combination, in which case all of the current directors will continue in office until at least the completion of the business combination. If there is an annual meeting, as a consequence of our “staggered” board of directors, only a minority of the board of directors will be considered for election and our Sponsor, because of its ownership position, will control the outcome, as only holders of our Class B ordinary shares will have the right to vote on the election of directors and to remove directors prior to our initial business combination. Accordingly, our Sponsor will continue to exert control at least until the completion of our initial business combination. In addition, we have agreed not to enter into a definitive agreement regarding an initial business combination without the prior consent of our Sponsor.
Because we must furnish our shareholders with target business financial statements, we may lose the ability to complete an otherwise advantageous initial business combination with some prospective target businesses.
The federal proxy rules require that a proxy statement with respect to a vote on a business combination meeting certain financial significance tests include historical and/or pro forma financial statement disclosure in periodic reports. We will include the same financial statement disclosure in connection with our tender offer documents, whether or not they are required under the tender offer rules. These financial statements may be required to be prepared in accordance with, or be reconciled to, GAAP or IFRS, depending on the circumstances and the historical financial statements may be required to be audited in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. These financial statements may also be required to be prepared in accordance with GAAP in connection with our current report on Form
8-K
announcing the closing our initial business combination within four (4) business days following such closing. These financial statement requirements may limit the pool of potential target businesses we may acquire because some targets may be unable to provide such statements in time for us to disclose such statements in accordance with federal proxy rules and complete our initial business combination within the prescribed time frame.
Compliance obligations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may make it more difficult for us to effectuate a business combination, require substantial financial and management resources, and increase the time and costs of completing a business combination.
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we evaluate and report on our system of internal controls beginning with our Annual Report on
Form 10-K for
the year ending December 31, 2021. Only in the event we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer or an accelerated filer and no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, will we be required to comply with the independent registered public accounting firm attestation requirement on our internal control over financial reporting. The fact that we are a blank check company makes compliance with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act particularly burdensome on us as compared to other public companies because a target business with which we seek to complete our initial business combination may not be in compliance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regarding adequacy of its internal controls. The development of the internal control of any such entity to achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may increase the time and costs necessary to complete any such business combination.
 
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Risks Relating to the Post-Business Combination Company
Subsequent to our completion of our initial business combination, we may be required to take write-downs or write-offs, restructuring and impairment or other charges that could have a significant negative effect on our financial condition, results of operations and the price of our securities, which could cause you to lose some or all of your investment
.
Even if we conduct extensive due diligence on a target business with which we combine, we cannot assure you that this diligence will identify all material issues with a particular target business, that it would be possible to uncover all material issues through a customary amount of due diligence, or that factors outside of the target business and outside of our control will not later arise. As a result of these factors, we may be forced to later write-down
or write-off assets,
restructure our operations, or incur impairment or other charges that could result in our reporting losses. Even if our due diligence successfully identifies certain risks, unexpected risks may arise and previously known risks may materialize in a manner not consistent with our preliminary risk analysis. Although these charges may
be non-cash items
and not have an immediate impact on our liquidity, the fact that we report charges of this nature could contribute to negative market perceptions about us or our securities. In addition, charges of this nature may cause us to violate net worth or other covenants to which we may be subject as a result of
assuming pre-existing debt
held by a target business or by virtue of our obtaining post-combination debt financing. Accordingly, any holders who choose to retain their securities following the business combination could suffer a reduction in the value of their securities. Such holders are unlikely to have a remedy for such reduction in value.
The officers and directors of an initial business combination candidate may resign upon completion of our initial business combination. The loss of an initial business combination target’s key personnel could negatively impact the operations and profitability of our post-combination business.
The role of an initial business combination candidate’s key personnel upon the completion of our initial business combination cannot be ascertained at this time. Although we contemplate that certain members of an initial business combination candidate’s management team will remain associated with the initial business combination candidate following our initial business combination, it is possible that members of the management of an acquisition candidate will not wish to remain in place and may resign upon completion of our initial business combination. The loss of an initial business combination target’s key personnel could negatively impact the operations and profitability of our post-combination business.
Our management may not be able to maintain control of a target business after our initial business combination. Upon the loss of control of a target business, new management may not possess the skills, qualifications or abilities necessary to profitably operate such business.
We may structure our initial business combination so that the post-business combination company in which our public shareholders own shares will own less than 100% of the equity interests or assets of a target business, but we will only complete such business combination if the post-business combination company owns or acquires 50% or more of the outstanding voting securities of the target or otherwise acquires a controlling interest in the target business sufficient for us not to be required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. We will not consider any transaction that does not meet such criteria. Even if the post-business combination company owns 50% or more of the voting securities of the target, our shareholders prior to our initial business combination may collectively own a minority interest in the post-business combination company, depending on valuations ascribed to the target and us in the business combination. For example, we could pursue a transaction in which we issue a substantial number of new Class A ordinary shares in exchange for all of the outstanding capital stock of a target. In this case, we would acquire a 100% interest in the target. However, as a result of the issuance of a substantial number of new Class A ordinary shares, our shareholders immediately prior to such transaction could own less than a majority of our outstanding Class A ordinary shares subsequent to such transaction. In addition, other minority shareholders may subsequently combine their holdings resulting in a single person or group obtaining a larger share of the Company’s shares than we initially acquired. Accordingly, this may make it more likely that our management will not be able to maintain control of the target business. We cannot provide assurance that, upon loss of control of a target business, new management will possess the skills, qualifications or abilities necessary to profitably operate such business.
 
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We may have a limited ability to assess the management of a prospective target business and, as a result, may affect our initial business combination with a target business whose management may not have the skills, qualifications or abilities to manage a public company, which could, in turn, negatively impact the value of our shareholders’ investment in us.
When evaluating the desirability of effecting our initial business combination with a prospective target business, our ability to assess the target business’s management may be limited due to a lack of time, resources or information. Our assessment of the capabilities of the target business’s management, therefore, may prove to be incorrect and such management may lack the skills, qualifications or abilities we suspected. Should the target business’s management not possess the skills, qualifications or abilities necessary to manage a public company, the operations and profitability of the post-combination business may be negatively impacted. Accordingly, any shareholders who choose to retain their securities following the initial business combination could suffer a reduction in the value of their securities. Such shareholders are unlikely to have a remedy for such reduction in value.
Risks Associated with Acquiring and Operating a Business in Foreign Countries
If we pursue a target company with operations or opportunities outside of the United States for our initial business combination, we may face additional burdens in connection with investigating, agreeing to and completing such initial business combination, and if we effect such initial business combination, we would be subject to a variety of additional risks that may negatively impact our operations.
If we pursue a target a company with operations or opportunities outside of the United States for our initial business combination, we would be subject to risks associated with cross-border business combinations, including in connection with investigating, agreeing to and completing our initial business combination, conducting due diligence in a foreign jurisdiction, having such transaction approved by any local governments, regulators or agencies and changes in the purchase price based on fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
If we effect our initial business combination with such a company, we would be subject to any special considerations or risks associated with companies operating in an international setting, including any of the following:
 
   
costs and difficulties inherent in managing cross-border business operations;
 
   
rules and regulations regarding currency redemption;
 
   
complex corporate withholding taxes on individuals;
 
   
laws governing the manner in which future business combinations may be effected;
 
   
exchange listing and/or delisting requirements;
 
   
tariffs and trade barriers, including the impact of ongoing trade wars between the United States and foreign countries;
 
   
regulations related to customs and import/export matters;
 
   
local or regional economic policies and market conditions;
 
   
unexpected changes in regulatory requirements;
 
   
longer payment cycles;
 
   
tax issues, such as tax law changes and variations in tax laws as compared to the United States;
 
   
currency fluctuations and exchange controls;
 
   
rates of inflation;
 
   
challenges in collecting accounts receivable;
 
   
cultural and language differences;
 
   
employment regulations;
 
   
underdeveloped or unpredictable legal or regulatory systems;
 
   
corruption;
 
   
protection of intellectual property;
 
   
social unrest, crime, strikes, riots and civil disturbances;
 
   
regime changes and political upheaval;
 
   
terrorist attacks, natural disasters and wars; and
 
   
deterioration of political relations with the United States.
We may not be able to adequately address these additional risks. If we were unable to do so, we may be unable to complete such initial business combination, or, if we complete such combination, our operations might suffer, either of which may adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
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We may reincorporate in another jurisdiction in connection with our initial business combination and such reincorporation may result in taxes imposed on shareholders.
We may, in connection with our initial business combination and subject to requisite shareholder approval under the Companies Act, reincorporate in the jurisdiction in which the target company or business is located or in another jurisdiction. The transaction may require a shareholder or warrant holder to recognize taxable income in the jurisdiction in which the shareholder or warrant holder is a tax resident or in which its members are resident if it is a tax transparent entity. We do not intend to make any cash distributions to shareholders or warrant holders to pay such taxes. Shareholders or warrant holders may be subject to withholding taxes or other taxes with respect to their ownership of us after the reincorporation.
We may reincorporate in another jurisdiction in connection with our initial business combination, and the laws of such jurisdiction may govern some or all of our future material agreements and we may not be able to enforce our legal rights.
In connection with our initial business combination, we may relocate the home jurisdiction of our business from the Cayman Islands to another jurisdiction. If we determine to do this, the laws of such jurisdiction may govern some or all of our future material agreements. The system of laws and the enforcement of existing laws in such jurisdiction may not be as certain in implementation and interpretation as in the United States. The inability to enforce or obtain a remedy under any of our future agreements could result in a significant loss of business, business opportunities or capital.
We are subject to changing law and regulations regarding regulatory matters, corporate governance and public disclosure that have increased both our costs and the risk
of non-compliance.
We are subject to rules and regulations by various governing bodies, including, for example, the SEC, which are charged with the protection of investors and the oversight of companies whose securities are publicly traded, and to new and evolving regulatory measures under applicable law. Our efforts to comply with new and changing laws and regulations have resulted in and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from seeking a business combination target.
Moreover, because these laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance becomes available. This evolution may result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and additional costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to our disclosure and governance practices. If we fail to address and comply with these regulations and any subsequent changes, we may be subject to penalty and our business may be harmed.
If our management following our initial business combination is unfamiliar with United States securities laws, they may have to expend time and resources becoming familiar with such laws, which could lead to various regulatory issues.
Following our initial business combination, our management may resign from their positions as officers or directors of the Company and the management of the target business at the time of the business combination will remain in place. Management of the target business may not be familiar with United States securities laws. If new management is unfamiliar with United States securities laws, they may have to expend time and resources becoming familiar with such laws. This could be expensive and time-consuming and could lead to various regulatory issues which may adversely affect our operations.
Exchange rate fluctuations and currency policies may cause a target business’ ability to succeed in the international markets to be diminished.
In the event we acquire
a non-U.S. target,
all revenues and income would likely be received in a foreign currency, and the dollar equivalent of our net assets and distributions, if any, could be adversely affected by reductions in the value of the local currency. The value of the currencies in our target regions fluctuate and are affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions. Any change in the relative value of such currency against our reporting currency may affect the attractiveness of any target business or, following consummation of our initial business combination, our financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, if a currency appreciates in value against the dollar prior to the consummation of our initial business combination, the cost of a target business as measured in dollars will increase, which may make it less likely that we are able to consummate such transaction.
 
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After our initial business combination, substantially all of our assets may be located in a foreign country and substantially all of our revenue may be derived from our operations in any such country. Accordingly, our results of operations and prospects will be subject, to a significant extent, to the economic, political and social conditions and government policies, developments and conditions in the country in which we operate.
The economic, political and social conditions, as well as government policies, of the country in which our operations are located could affect our business. Economic growth could be uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy and such growth may not be sustained in the future. If in the future such country’s economy experiences a downturn or grows at a slower rate than expected, there may be less demand for spending in certain industries. A decrease in demand for spending in certain industries could materially and adversely affect our ability to find an attractive target business with which to consummate our initial business combination and if we effect our initial business combination, the ability of that target business to become profitable.
Risks Relating to our Management Team
We are dependent upon our executive officers and directors and their loss could adversely affect our ability to operate.
Our operations are dependent upon a relatively small group of individuals and, in particular, our executive officers and directors. We believe that our success depends on the continued service of our officers and directors, at least until we have completed our initial business combination. In addition, our executive officers and directors are not required to commit any specified amount of time to our affairs and, accordingly, will have conflicts of interest in allocating their time among various business activities, including identifying potential business combinations and monitoring the related due diligence. Moreover, certain of our officers and directors have time and attention requirements for investment vehicles of which ACON Investments and its affiliates are the investment managers. We do not have an employment agreement with,
or key-man insurance
on the life of, any of our directors or executive officers. The unexpected loss of the services of one or more of our directors or executive officers could have a detrimental effect on us.
Our ability to successfully effect our initial business combination and to be successful thereafter will be totally dependent upon the efforts of our key personnel, some of whom may join us following our initial business combination. The loss of key personnel could negatively impact the operations and profitability of our post-combination business.
Our ability to successfully effect our initial business combination is dependent upon the efforts of our key personnel. The role of our key personnel in the target business, however, cannot presently be ascertained. Although some of our key personnel may remain with the target business in senior management, director or advisory positions following our initial business combination, it is likely that some or all of the management of the target business will remain in place. While we intend to closely scrutinize any individuals we engage after our initial business combination, we cannot assure you that our assessment of these individuals will prove to be correct. These individuals may be unfamiliar with the requirements of operating a company regulated by the SEC, which could cause us to have to expend time and resources helping them become familiar with such requirements.
In addition, the officers and directors of a business combination candidate may resign upon completion of our initial business combination. The departure of a business combination target’s key personnel could negatively impact the operations and profitability of our post-combination business. The role of a business combination candidate’s key personnel upon the completion of our initial business combination cannot be ascertained at this time. Although we contemplate that certain members of a business combination candidate’s management team will remain associated with the business combination candidate following our initial business combination, it is possible that members of the management of a business combination candidate will not wish to remain in place. The loss of key personnel could negatively impact the operations and profitability of our post-combination business.
Our key personnel may negotiate employment or consulting agreements with a target business in connection with a particular business combination, and a particular business combination may be conditioned on the retention or resignation of such key personnel. These agreements may provide for them to receive compensation following our initial business combination and as a result, may cause them to have conflicts of interest in determining whether a particular business combination is the most advantageous.
Our key personnel may be able to remain with our Company after the completion of our initial business combination only if they are able to negotiate employment or consulting agreements in connection with the business combination. Such negotiations would take place simultaneously with the negotiation of the business combination and could provide for such individuals to receive compensation in the form of cash payments and/or our securities for services they would render to us after the completion of the business combination. Such negotiations also could make such key personnel’s retention or resignation a condition to any such agreement. The personal and financial interests of such individuals may influence their motivation in identifying and selecting a target business. In addition, pursuant to a registration and shareholder rights agreement, our Sponsor, upon and following consummation of an initial business combination, will be entitled to nominate three individuals for election to our board of directors, as long as our Sponsor holds any securities covered by such registration and shareholder rights agreement.
 
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Our executive officers and directors will allocate their time to other businesses thereby causing conflicts of interest in their determination as to how much time to devote to our affairs. This conflict of interest could have a negative impact on our ability to complete our initial business combination.
Our executive officers and directors are not required to, and will not, commit their full time to our affairs, which may result in a conflict of interest in allocating their time between our operations and our search for a business combination and their other businesses. We do not intend to have any full-time employees prior to the completion of our initial business combination. Each of our executive officers is engaged in several other business endeavors for which he may be entitled to substantial compensation, and our executive officers are not obligated to contribute any specific number of hours per week to our affairs. Our independent directors also serve as officers and board members for other entities. If our executive officers’ and directors’ other business affairs require them to devote substantial amounts of time to such affairs in excess of their current commitment levels, it could limit their ability to devote time to our affairs which may have a negative impact on our ability to complete our initial business combination. For a complete discussion of our executive officers’ and directors’ other business affairs, please see Item 10 “Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance” and Item 13 “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.”
Our officers and directors presently have, and any of them in the future may have, additional, fiduciary or contractual obligations to other entities, including other blank check companies, and, accordingly, may have conflicts of interest in determining to which entity a particular business opportunity should be presented.
Until we consummate our initial business combination, we will continue to engage in the business of identifying and combining with one or more businesses or entities. Each of our officers and directors presently has, and any of them in the future may have, additional fiduciary or contractual obligations to other entities pursuant to which such officer or director is or will be required to present a business combination opportunity to such entity, subject to their fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law. Accordingly, they may have conflicts of interest in determining to which entity a particular business opportunity should be presented. These conflicts may not be resolved in our favor and a potential target business may be presented to another entity prior to its presentation to us, subject to their fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law.
In addition, our Sponsor, officers and directors may in the future become affiliated with other blank check companies that may have acquisition objectives that are similar to ours. Accordingly, they may have conflicts of interest in determining to which entity a particular business opportunity should be presented. These conflicts may not be resolved in our favor and a potential target business may be presented to such other blank check companies prior to its presentation to us, subject to our officers’ and directors’ fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that we renounce, to the maximum extent permitted by law, our interest in any corporate opportunity offered to any director or officer or about which any of our officers or directors acquires knowledge unless such opportunity is expressly offered to such person solely in his or her capacity as a director or officer of our Company and such opportunity is one we are legally and contractually permitted to undertake and would otherwise be reasonable for us to pursue. In addition, our amended and restated articles of association contain provisions to exculpate and indemnify, to the maximum extent permitted by law, such persons in respect of any liability, obligation or duty to our Company that may arise as a consequence of such persons becoming aware of any business opportunity or failing to present such business opportunity.
For a complete discussion of our executive officers’ and directors’ business affiliations and the potential conflicts of interest that you should be aware of, please see Item 13 “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.”
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources and divert management’s attention.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of NASDAQ and other applicable securities rules and regulations. Compliance with these rules and regulations increase our legal and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly and increase demand on our systems and resources, particularly after we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and, if required, improve our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting to meet this standard, significant resources and management oversight may be required. As a result, management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could adversely affect our business and operating results. We may need to hire more employees in the future or engage outside consultants to comply with these requirements, which will increase our costs and expenses.
 
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Our executive officers, directors, security holders and their respective affiliates may have competitive pecuniary interests that conflict with our interests.
We have not adopted a policy that expressly prohibits our directors, executive officers, security holders or affiliates from having a direct or indirect pecuniary or financial interest in any investment to be acquired or disposed of by us or in any transaction to which we are a party or have an interest. In fact, we may enter into a business combination with a target business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, our directors or executive officers, although we do not intend to do so. Nor do we have a policy that expressly prohibits any such persons from engaging for their own account in business activities of the types conducted by us. Accordingly, such persons or entities may have a conflict between their interests and ours.
The personal and financial interests of our directors and officers may influence their motivation in timely identifying and selecting a target business and completing a business combination. Consequently, our directors’ and officers’ discretion in identifying and selecting a suitable target business may result in a conflict of interest when determining whether the terms, conditions and timing of a particular business combination are appropriate and in our shareholders’ best interest. If this were the case, it would be a breach of their fiduciary duties to us as a matter of Cayman Islands law and we or our shareholders might have a claim against such individuals for infringing on our shareholders’ rights. However, we might not ultimately be successful in any claim we may make against them for such reason.
Risks Relating to our Securities
You will not have any rights or interests in funds from the trust account, except under certain limited circumstances. Therefore, to liquidate your investment, you may be forced to sell your public shares or warrants, potentially at a loss
.
Our public shareholders are entitled to receive funds from the trust account only upon the earliest to occur of: (i) our completion of an initial business combination, and then only in connection with those Class A ordinary shares that such shareholder properly elected to redeem, subject to the limitations described herein, (ii) the redemption of any public shares properly tendered in connection with a shareholder vote to amend our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) to modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we do not complete our initial business combination by September 21, 2022 or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares, and (iii) the redemption of our public shares if we have not consummated an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, subject to applicable law and as further described herein. Public shareholders who redeem their Class A ordinary shares in connection with a shareholder vote described in clause (ii) in the preceding sentence shall not be entitled to funds from the trust account upon the subsequent completion of an initial business combination or liquidation if we have not consummated an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, with respect to such Class A ordinary shares so redeemed. In no other circumstances will a public shareholder have any right or interest of any kind in the trust account. Holders of warrants will not have any right to the proceeds held in the trust account with respect to the warrants. Accordingly, to liquidate your investment, you may be forced to sell your public shares or warrants, potentially at a loss.
NASDAQ may delist our securities from trading on its exchange, which could limit investors’ ability to make transactions in our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions.
Our securities are currently listed on NASDAQ. However, we cannot assure you that our securities will continue to be listed on the NASDAQ in the future or prior to our initial business combination. In order to continue listing our securities on the NASDAQ prior to our initial business combination, we must maintain certain financial, distribution and share price levels. Generally, we must maintain a minimum amount in shareholders’ equity (generally $2,500,000) and a minimum number of holders of our securities (generally 300 public holders).
Additionally, our units will not be traded after completion of our initial business combination and, in connection with our initial business combination, we will be required to demonstrate compliance with the NASDAQ initial listing requirements, which are more rigorous than the NASDAQ continued listing requirements, in order to continue to maintain the listing of our securities on the NASDAQ.
For instance, in order for our shares to be listed upon the consummation of our business combination, at such time our share price would generally be required to be at least $4.00 per share, shareholder’s equity would generally be required to be at least $5.0 million and we would be required to have 300
round-lot
holders. We cannot assure you that we will be able to meet those listing requirements at that time.
 
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If the NASDAQ delists any of our securities from trading on its exchange and we are not able to list our securities on another national securities exchange, we expect such securities could be quoted on
an over-the-counter market.
If this were to occur, we could face significant material adverse consequences, including:
 
   
a limited availability of market quotations for our securities;
 
   
reduced liquidity for our securities;
 
   
a determination that our Class A ordinary shares are a “penny stock” which will require brokers trading in our Class A ordinary shares to adhere to more stringent rules and possibly result in a reduced level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for our securities;
 
   
a limited amount of news and analyst coverage; and
 
   
a decreased ability to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future.
The National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996, which is a federal statute, prevents or preempts the states from regulating the sale of certain securities, which are referred to as “covered securities.” Because our units, Class A ordinary shares and warrants are currently listed on the NASDAQ, our units, Class A ordinary shares and warrants are covered securities under the statute. Although the states are preempted from regulating the sale of covered securities, the federal statute does allow the states to investigate companies if there is a suspicion of fraud, and, if there is a finding of fraudulent activity, then the states can regulate or bar the sale of covered securities in a particular case. While we are not aware of a state having used these powers to prohibit or restrict the sale of securities issued by blank check companies, other than the State of Idaho, certain state securities regulators view blank check companies unfavorably and might use these powers, or threaten to use these powers, to hinder the sale of securities of blank check companies in their states. Further, if we were no longer listed on the NASDAQ, our securities would not qualify as covered securities under the statute and we would be subject to regulation in each state in which we offer our securities.
A market for our securities may not develop, which would adversely affect the liquidity and price of our securities.
The price of our securities may vary significantly due to one or more potential business combinations and general market or economic conditions, including as a result of
the COVID-19 outbreak.
Furthermore, an active trading market for our securities may never develop or, if developed, it may not be sustained. You may be unable to sell your securities unless a market can be established and sustained.
Because we are incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands, you may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through the U.S. federal courts may be limited.
We are an exempted company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. As a result, it may be difficult for investors to effect service of process within the United States upon our directors or executive officers, or enforce judgments obtained in the United States courts against our directors or officers.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Act (as the same may be supplemented or amended from time to time) and the common law of the Cayman Islands. We are also subject to the federal securities laws of the United States. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from English common law, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are different from what they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a different body of securities laws as compared to the United States, and certain states, such as Delaware, may have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholders derivative action in a Federal court of the United States.
We have been advised by our Cayman Islands legal counsel that the courts of the Cayman Islands are unlikely (i) to recognize or enforce against us judgments of courts of the United States predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States or any state; and (ii) in original actions brought in the Cayman Islands, to impose liabilities against us predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States or any state, so far as the liabilities imposed by those provisions are penal in nature. In those circumstances, although there is no statutory
 
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enforcement in the Cayman Islands of judgments obtained in the United States, the courts of the Cayman Islands will recognize and enforce a foreign money judgment of a foreign court of competent jurisdiction without retrial on the merits based on the principle that a judgment of a competent foreign court imposes upon the judgment debtor an obligation to pay the sum for which judgment has been given provided certain conditions are met. For a foreign judgment to be enforced in the Cayman Islands, such judgment must be final and conclusive and for a liquidated sum, and must not be in respect of taxes or a fine or penalty, inconsistent with a Cayman Islands judgment in respect of the same matter, impeachable on the grounds of fraud or obtained in a manner, or be of a kind the enforcement of which is, contrary to natural justice or the public policy of the Cayman Islands (awards of punitive or multiple damages may well be held to be contrary to public policy). A Cayman Islands Court may stay enforcement proceedings if concurrent proceedings are being brought elsewhere.
As a result of all of the above, public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a United States company.
After our initial business combination, it is possible that a majority of our directors and officers will live outside the United States and all of our assets will be located outside the United States; therefore investors may not be able to enforce federal securities laws or their other legal rights.
It is possible that after our initial business combination, a majority of our directors and officers will reside outside of the United States and all of our assets will be located outside of the United States. As a result, it may be difficult, or in some cases not possible, for investors in the United States to enforce their legal rights, to effect service of process upon all of our directors or officers or to enforce judgments of United States courts predicated upon civil liabilities and criminal penalties on our directors and officers under United States laws.
In particular, there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the Cayman Islands or any other applicable jurisdictions would recognize and enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States or entertain original actions brought in the Cayman Islands or any other applicable jurisdiction’s courts against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.
Provisions in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association may inhibit a takeover of us, which could limit the price investors might be willing to pay in the future for our Class A ordinary shares and could entrench management.
Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association contain provisions that may discourage unsolicited takeover proposals that shareholders may consider to be in their best interests. These provisions include a staggered board of directors, the ability of the board of directors to designate the terms of and issue new series of preference shares, and the fact that prior to the completion of our initial business combination only holders of our Class B ordinary shares, which have been issued to our Sponsor, are entitled to vote on the election of directors, which may make more difficult the removal of management and may discourage transactions that otherwise could involve payment of a premium over prevailing market prices for our securities.
An investment in our initial public offering may result in uncertain or adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.
An investment in our initial public offering may result in uncertain U.S. federal income tax consequences. For instance, because there are no authorities that directly address instruments similar to the units we are issuing in our initial public offering, the allocation an investor makes with respect to the purchase price of a unit between the Class A ordinary shares and
the one-third of
a warrant to purchase one Class A ordinary share included in each unit could be challenged by the IRS or courts. Furthermore, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of a cashless exercise of warrants included in the units we are issuing in our initial public offering is unclear under current law. Finally, it is unclear whether the redemption rights with respect to our ordinary shares suspend the running of a U.S. Holder’s holding period for purposes of determining whether any gain or loss realized by such holder on the sale or exchange of Class A ordinary shares is long-term capital gain or loss and for determining whether any dividend we pay would be considered “qualified dividends” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors with respect to these and other tax consequences when purchasing, holding or disposing of our securities.
 
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Since only holders of our founder shares have the right to vote on the election of directors, the NASDAQ may consider us to be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the NASDAQ rules and, as a result, we may qualify for exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements.
Only holders of our founder shares have the right to vote on the election of directors. As a result, the NASDAQ may consider us to be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the NASDAQ corporate governance standards. Under the NASDAQ corporate governance standards, a company of which more than 50% of the voting power is held by an individual, group or another company is a “controlled company” and may elect not to comply with certain corporate governance requirements, including the requirements that:
 
   
we have a board that includes a majority of “independent directors,” as defined under the rules of the NASDAQ;
 
   
we have a compensation committee of our board that is comprised entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and
 
   
director nominations be made, or recommended to the full board, by our independent directors or by a nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter or resolution addressing the committee” purpose and responsibilities.
We do not intend to utilize these exemptions and intend to comply with the corporate governance requirements of the NASDAQ, subject to
applicable phase-in rules.
However, if we determine in the future to utilize some or all of these exemptions, you will not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all of the NASDAQ corporate governance requirements.
We may amend the terms of the warrants in a manner that may be adverse to holders of public warrants with the approval by the holders of at least 50% of the then-outstanding public warrants. As a result, the exercise price of your warrants could be increased, the exercise period could be shortened and the number of our Class A ordinary shares purchasable upon exercise of a warrant could be decreased, all without your approval.
Our warrants are issued in registered form under a warrant agreement between Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company, as warrant agent, and us. The warrant agreement provides that the terms of the warrants may be amended without the consent of any holder for the purpose of (i) curing any ambiguity or correct any mistake, including to conform the provisions of the warrant agreement to the description of the terms of the warrants and the warrant agreement set forth in this Report, or defective provision (ii) amending the provisions relating to cash dividends on ordinary shares as contemplated by and in accordance with the warrant agreement or (iii) adding or changing any provisions with respect to matters or questions arising under the warrant agreement as the parties to the warrant agreement may deem necessary or desirable and that the parties deem to not adversely affect the rights of the registered holders of the warrants, provided that the approval by the holders of at least 50% of the then-outstanding public warrants is required to make any change that adversely affects the interests of the registered holders of public warrants. Accordingly, we may amend the terms of the public warrants in a manner adverse to a holder if holders of at least 50% of the then-outstanding public warrants approve of such amendment and, solely with respect to any amendment to the terms of the private placement warrants or any provision of the warrant agreement with respect to the private placement warrants, 50% of the number of the then outstanding private placement warrants. Although our ability to amend the terms of the public warrants with the consent of at least 50% of the then-outstanding public warrants is unlimited, examples of such amendments could be amendments to, among other things, increase the exercise price of the warrants, convert the warrants into cash, shorten the exercise period or decrease the number of Class A ordinary shares purchasable upon exercise of a warrant.
Our warrant agreement designates the courts of the State of New York or the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by holders of our warrants, which could limit the ability of warrant holders to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with our Company.
Our warrant agreement provides that, subject to applicable law, (i) any action, proceeding or claim against us arising out of or relating in any way to the warrant agreement, including under the Securities Act, will be brought and enforced in the courts of the State of New York or the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and (ii) that we irrevocably submit to such jurisdiction, which jurisdiction shall be the exclusive forum for any such action, proceeding or claim. We will waive any objection to such exclusive jurisdiction and that such courts represent an inconvenient forum.
 
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Notwithstanding the foregoing, these provisions of the warrant agreement do not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal district courts of the United States of America are the sole and exclusive forum. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any of our warrants shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to the forum provisions in our warrant agreement. If any action, the subject matter of which is within the scope of the forum provisions of the warrant agreement, is filed in a court other than a court of the State of New York or the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (a “foreign action”) in the name of any holder of our warrants, such holder shall be deemed to have consented to: (x) the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in the State of New York in connection with any action brought in any such court to enforce the forum provisions (an “enforcement action”), and (y) having service of process made upon such warrant holder in any such enforcement action by service upon such warrant holder’s counsel in the foreign action as agent for such warrant holder.
This
choice-of-forum
provision may limit a warrant holder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with our Company, which may discourage such lawsuits. Alternatively, if a court were to find this provision of our warrant agreement inapplicable or unenforceable with respect to one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and result in a diversion of the time and resources of our management and board of directors.
A provision of our warrant agreement may make it more difficult for us to consummate an initial business combination.
Unlike most blank check companies, if (x) we issue additional Class A ordinary shares or equity-linked securities for capital raising purposes in connection with the closing of our initial business combination at a an issue price or effective issue price of less than $9.20 per ordinary share, (ii (with such issue price or effective issue price to be determined in good faith by us and, (i) in the case of any such issuance to our Sponsor or its affiliates, without taking into account any founder shares held by our Sponsor or such affiliates, as applicable, prior to such issuance, and (ii) to the extent that such issuance is made to our Sponsor or its affiliates, without taking into account the transfer of founder shares or private placement warrants (including if such transfer is effectuated as a surrender to us and subsequent reissuance by us) by our Sponsor in connection with such issuance) (the “Newly Issued Price”), (y) the aggregate gross proceeds from such issuances represent more than 60% of the total equity proceeds, and interest thereon, available for the funding of our initial business combination on the date of the consummation of our initial business combination (net of redemptions), and (z) the volume weighted average trading price of our Class A ordinary shares during the 20 trading day period starting on the trading day prior to the day on which we consummate our initial business combination (such price, the “Market Value”) is below $9.20 per share, then the exercise price of the warrants will be adjusted (to the nearest cent) to be equal to 115% of the higher of the Market Value and the Newly Issued Price, and the $18.00 per share redemption trigger price will be adjusted (to the nearest cent) to be equal to 180% of the higher of the Market Value and the Newly Issued Price, and the $10.00 per share redemption trigger price will be adjusted (to the nearest cent) to be equal to the higher of the Market Value and the Newly Issued Price. This may make it more difficult for us to consummate an initial business combination with a target business.
We may redeem your unexpired warrants prior to their exercise at a time that is disadvantageous to you, thereby making such warrants worthless.
We have the ability to redeem the outstanding public warrants at any time after they become exercisable and prior to their expiration, at a price of $0.01 per warrant,
 provided
 that the closing price of our Class A ordinary shares equals or exceeds $18.00 per share (as adjusted for adjustments to the number of shares issuable upon exercise or the exercise price of a warrant as described under Exhibit 4.2 of this Report) for any 20 trading days within a
30 trading-day period
ending on the third trading day prior to proper notice of such redemption and
 provided
 that certain other conditions are met. If and when the warrants become redeemable by us, we may exercise our redemption right even if we are unable to register or qualify the underlying securities for sale under all applicable state securities laws. As a result, we may redeem the warrants as set forth above even if the holders are otherwise unable to exercise the warrants. Redemption of the outstanding warrants could force you to (i) exercise your warrants and pay the exercise price therefor at a time when it may be disadvantageous for you to do so, (ii) sell your warrants at the then-current market price when you might otherwise wish to hold your warrants or (iii) accept the nominal redemption price which, at the time the outstanding warrants are called for redemption, we expect would be substantially less than the market value of your warrants.
In addition, we have the ability to redeem the outstanding public warrants at any time after they become exercisable and prior to their expiration, at a price of $0.10 per warrant upon a minimum of 30 days’ prior written notice of redemption
 provided
 that the closing price of our Class A ordinary shares equals or exceeds $10.00 per share (as adjusted for adjustments to the number of shares issuable upon exercise or the exercise price of a warrant as described under Exhibit 4.2 of this Report) for any 20 trading days within a
30 trading-day period
ending on the third trading day prior to proper notice of such redemption and
 provided
 that certain other conditions are met, including that holders will be able to exercise their warrants prior to redemption for a number of Class A ordinary shares determined based on the redemption date and the fair
 
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market value of our Class A ordinary shares. Please see Exhibit 4.2 of this Report. The value received upon exercise of the warrants (1) may be less than the value the holders would have received if they had exercised their warrants at a later time where the underlying share price is higher and (2) may not compensate the holders for the value of the warrants, including because the number of ordinary shares received is capped at 0.361 Class A ordinary shares per warrant (subject to adjustment) irrespective of the remaining life of the warrants.
None of the private placement warrants will be redeemable by us (except as set forth under Exhibit 4.2 of this Report) so long as they are held by our Sponsor or its permitted transferees.
Our warrants may have an adverse effect on the market price of our Class A ordinary shares and make it more difficult to effectuate our initial business combination.
We issued warrants to purchase 8,333,333 of our Class A ordinary shares as part of the units offered in our initial public offering and, simultaneously with the closing of our initial public offering, we issued in a private placement an aggregate of 4,666,667 private placement warrants, each exercisable to purchase one Class A ordinary share at $11.50 per share, subject to adjustment. In addition, if our Sponsor, its affiliates or a member of our management team makes any working capital loans, it may convert up to $1,500,000 of such loans into up to an additional NASDAQ private placement warrants, at the price of $1.50 per warrant.
To the extent we issue ordinary shares for any reason, including to effectuate a business combination, the potential for the issuance of a substantial number of additional Class A ordinary shares upon exercise of these warrants could make us a less attractive acquisition vehicle to a target business. Such warrants, when exercised, will increase the number of issued and outstanding Class A ordinary shares and reduce the value of the Class A ordinary shares issued to complete the business transaction. Therefore, our warrants may make it more difficult to effectuate a business transaction or increase the cost of acquiring the target business.
Because each unit
contains one-third of
one redeemable warrant and only a whole warrant may be exercised, the units may be worth less than units of other blank check companies.
Each unit
contains one-third of
one redeemable warrant. Pursuant to the warrant agreement, no fractional warrants will be issued upon separation of the units, and only whole units will trade. If, upon exercise of the warrants, a holder would be entitled to receive a fractional interest in a share, we will, upon exercise, round down to the nearest whole number the number of Class A ordinary shares to be issued to the warrant holder. This is different from other offerings similar to ours whose units include one ordinary share and one whole warrant to purchase one whole share. We have established the components of the units in this way in order to reduce the dilutive effect of the warrants upon completion of a business combination since the warrants will be exercisable in the aggregate
for one-third of
the number of shares compared to units that each contain a whole warrant to purchase one whole share, thus making us, we believe, a more attractive merger partner for target businesses. Nevertheless, this unit structure may cause our units to be worth less than if a unit included a warrant to purchase one whole share.
We have not registered the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of the warrants under the Securities Act or any state securities laws at this time, and such registration may not be in place when an investor desires to exercise warrants, thus precluding such investor from being able to exercise its warrants except on a cashless basis and potentially causing such warrants to expire worthless.
We have not registered the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of the warrants issued in our initial public offering under the Securities Act or any state securities laws at this time. However, under the terms of the warrant agreement, we have agreed that, as soon as practicable, but in no event later than twenty (20) business days after the closing of our initial business combination, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to file with the SEC a registration statement covering the issuance of such shares, and we will use our commercially reasonable efforts to cause the same to become effective within sixty (60) business days after the closing of our initial business combination and to maintain the effectiveness of such registration statement and a current prospectus relating to those Class A ordinary shares until the warrants expire or are redeemed. We cannot assure you that we will be able to do so if, for example, any facts or events arise which represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement or prospectus, the financial statements contained or incorporated by reference therein are not current, complete or correct or the SEC issues a stop order. If the shares issuable upon exercise of the warrants issued in our initial public offering are not registered under the Securities Act in accordance with the above requirements, we will be required to permit holders to exercise their warrants on a cashless basis, in which case, the number of Class A ordinary shares that you will receive upon cashless exercise will be based on a formula subject to a maximum amount of shares equal to 0.361 Class A ordinary shares per warrant (subject to adjustment). However, no warrant will be
 
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exercisable for cash or on a cashless basis, and we will not be obligated to issue any shares to holders seeking to exercise their warrants, unless the issuance of the shares upon such exercise is registered or qualified under the securities laws of the state of the exercising holder, or an exemption from registration is available. Notwithstanding the above, if our Class A ordinary shares are at the time of any exercise of a warrant not listed on a national securities exchange such that they satisfy the definition of a “covered security” under Section 18(b)(1) of the Securities Act, we may, at our option, require holders of public warrants who exercise their warrants to do so on a “cashless basis” in accordance with Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act and, in the event we so elect, we will not be required to file or maintain in effect a registration statement, but we will use commercially reasonable efforts to register or qualify the shares under applicable blue sky laws to the extent an exemption is not available. Exercising the warrants on a cashless basis could have the effect of reducing the potential “upside” of the holder’s investment in our Company because the warrant holder will hold a smaller number of Class A ordinary shares upon a cashless exercise of the warrants they hold. In no event will we be required to net cash settle any warrant, or issue securities or other compensation in exchange for the warrants in the event that we are unable to register or qualify the shares underlying the warrants under applicable state securities laws and no exemption is available. If the issuance of the shares upon exercise of the warrants is not so registered or qualified or exempt from registration or qualification, the holder of such warrant shall not be entitled to exercise such warrant and such warrant may have no value and expire worthless. In such event, holders who acquired their warrants as part of a purchase of units will have paid the full unit purchase price solely for the Class A ordinary shares included in the units. There may be a circumstance where an exemption from registration exists for holders of our private placement warrants to exercise their warrants while a corresponding exemption does not exist for holders of the public warrants included as part of units sold in our initial public offering. In such an instance, our Sponsor and its permitted transferees (which may include our directors and executive officers) would be able to exercise their warrants and sell the ordinary shares underlying their warrants while holders of our public warrants would not be able to exercise their warrants and sell the underlying ordinary shares. If and when the warrants become redeemable by us, we may exercise our redemption right even if we are unable to register or qualify the underlying Class A ordinary shares for sale under all applicable state securities laws. As a result, we may redeem the warrants as set forth above even if the holders are otherwise unable to exercise their warrants.
The warrants may become exercisable and redeemable for a security other than the Class A ordinary shares, and you will not have any information regarding such other security at this time.
In certain situations, including if we are not the surviving entity in our initial business combination, the warrants may become exercisable for a security other than the Class A ordinary shares. As a result, if the surviving company redeems your warrants for securities pursuant to the warrant agreement, you may receive a security in a company of which you do not have information at this time. Pursuant to the warrant agreement, the surviving company will be required to use commercially reasonable efforts to register the issuance of the security underlying the warrants within twenty (20) business days of the closing of an initial business combination.
The grant of registration rights to our Sponsor may make it more difficult to complete our initial business combination, and the future exercise of such rights may adversely affect the market price of our Class A ordinary shares.
Pursuant to a registration and shareholder rights agreement entered into concurrently with the issuance and sale of the securities in our initial public offering, our Sponsor and its permitted transferees can demand that we register the resale of the Class A ordinary shares into which founder shares are convertible, the private placement warrants and the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of the private placement warrants, and warrants that may be issued upon conversion of working capital loans and the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of such warrants. We will bear the cost of registering these securities. The registration and availability of such a significant number of securities for trading in the public market may have an adverse effect on the market price of our Class A ordinary shares. In addition, the existence of the registration rights may make our initial business combination more costly or difficult to conclude. This is because the shareholders of the target business may increase the equity stake they seek in the combined entity or ask for more cash consideration to offset the negative impact on the market price of our securities that is expected when the securities owned by our Sponsor or its permitted transferees are registered for resale.
General Risk Factors
Our warrants are accounted for as liabilities and the changes in value of our warrants could have a material effect on our financial results.
On April 12, 2021, the Acting Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Acting Chief Accountant of the SEC together issued a statement regarding the accounting and reporting considerations for warrants issued by special purpose acquisition companies entitled “Staff Statement on Accounting and Reporting Considerations for Warrants Issued by Special
 
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Purpose Acquisition Companies (‘SPACs’)” (the “SEC Statement”). Specifically, the SEC Statement focused on certain settlement terms and provisions related to certain tender offers following a business combination, which terms are similar to those contained in the warrant agreement governing our warrants. As a result of the SEC Statement, we reevaluated the accounting treatment of our 8,333,333 public warrants and 4,666,667 private placement warrants, and determined to classify the warrants as derivative liabilities measured at fair value, with changes in fair value each period reported in earnings.
As a result, included on our balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 contained elsewhere in this Annual Report are derivative liabilities related to embedded features contained within our warrants. Accounting Standards Codification 815, Derivatives and Hedging (“ASC 815”), provides for the remeasurement of the fair value of such derivatives at each balance sheet date, with a resulting
non-cash
gain or loss related to the change in the fair value being recognized in earnings in the statement of operations. As a result of the recurring fair value measurement, our financial statements and results of operations may fluctuate quarterly, based on factors, which are outside of our control. Due to the recurring fair value measurement, we expect that we will recognize
non-cash
gains or losses on our warrants each reporting period and that the amount of such gains or losses could be material.
We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020. If we are unable to develop and maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results in a timely manner, which may adversely affect investor confidence in us and materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Following this issuance of the SEC Statement, on May 24, 2021 our management and our audit committee concluded that it was appropriate to restate our previously issued audited financial statements as of and for the period ended December 31, 2020 (the “Restatement”). Our management and our audit committee also concluded that it was appropriate to restate previously issued financial statements for the Affected Periods. As part of such process, we identified a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting.
As described elsewhere in the First Amended Filing, we have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting related to the accounting for a significant and unusual transaction related to the warrants we issued in connection with our initial public offering in September 2020. As a result of this material weakness, our management has concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2020. This material weakness resulted in a material misstatement of our derivative warrant liabilities, change in fair value of derivative warrant liabilities, Class A ordinary shares subject to possible redemption, accumulated deficit and related financial disclosures as of and for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, as of September 30, 2020, for the three months ended September 30, 2020, and the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through September 30, 2020. For a discussion of management’s consideration of the material weakness identified related to our accounting for a significant and unusual transaction related to the warrants we issued in connection with the August 2020 initial public offering, see “Note 2 —Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements” to the accompanying financial statements, as well as Part II, Item 9A: Controls and Procedures included in the First Amended Filing.
As described elsewhere in this Second Amended Filing, we have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting related to the Company’s application of ASC
480-10-S99-3A
to its accounting classification of the Public Shares. As a result of this material weakness, our management has concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2020. Historically, a portion of the Public Shares was classified as permanent equity to maintain shareholders’ equity greater than $5 million on the basis that the Company will not redeem its Public Shares in an amount that would cause its net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001, as described in the Charter. Pursuant to the Company’s
re-evaluation
of the Company’s application of ASC
480-10-S99-3A
to its accounting classification of the Public Shares, the Company’s management has determined that the Public Shares include certain provisions that require classification of all of the Public Shares as temporary equity regardless of the net tangible assets redemption limitation contained in the Charter. For a discussion of management’s consideration of the material weakness identified related to the Company’s application of ASC
480-10-S99-3A
to its accounting classification of the Public Share, see “Note 2” to the accompanying financial statements, as well as Part II, Item 9A: Controls and Procedures included in this Annual Report.
 
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A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented, or detected and corrected on a timely basis.
Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and prevent fraud. We continue to evaluate steps to remediate the material weakness. These remediation measures may be time consuming and costly and there is no assurance that these initiatives will ultimately have the intended effects.
If we identify any new material weaknesses in the future, any such newly identified material weakness could limit our ability to prevent or detect a misstatement of our accounts or disclosures that could result in a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements. In such case, we may be unable to maintain compliance with securities law requirements regarding timely filing of periodic reports in addition to applicable stock exchange listing requirements, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting and our share price may decline as a result. We cannot assure you that the measures we have taken to date, or any measures we may take in the future, will be sufficient to avoid potential future material weaknesses.
We may face litigation and other risks as a result of the material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting.
Following the issuance of the SEC Statement our management and our audit committee concluded that it was appropriate to restate our previously issued audited financial statements as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020. Our management and our audit committee also concluded that it was appropriate to restate our previously issued financial statements for the Affected Periods. See “—We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. This material weakness could continue to adversely affect our ability to report our results of operations and financial condition accurately and in a timely manner.” As part of the Restatement, we identified a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting.
As a result of such material weakness, the Restatement, the change in accounting for the warrants, the change in classification of all of the Public Shares as temporary equity, and other matters raised or that may in the future be raised by the SEC, we face potential for litigation or other disputes which may include, among others, claims invoking the federal and state securities laws, contractual claims or other claims arising from the Restatement and material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting and the preparation of our financial statements. As of the date of this Annual Report, we have no knowledge of any such litigation or dispute. However, we can provide no assurance that such litigation or dispute will not arise in the future. Any such litigation or dispute, whether successful or not, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition or our ability to complete a Business Combination.
We are a recently incorporated company with no operating history and no revenues, and you have no basis on which to evaluate our ability to achieve our business objective.
We are a recently formed company, incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands with no operating results. Because we lack an operating history, you have no basis upon which to evaluate our ability to achieve our business objective of completing our initial business combination with one or more target businesses. We may be unable to complete our initial business combination. If we fail to complete our initial business combination, we will never generate any operating revenues.
Past performance by our management team or any of their respective affiliates may not be indicative of future performance of an investment in us.
Information regarding performance is presented for informational purposes only. Any past experience or performance of our management team and their respective affiliates is not a guarantee of either (i) our ability to successfully identify and execute a transaction or (ii) success with respect to any business combination that we may consummate. You should not rely on the historical record of our management team or any of their respective affiliates as indicative of the future performance of an investment in us or the returns we will, or are likely to, generate going forward. Our management has no experience in operating special purpose acquisition companies.
 
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We may be a passive foreign investment company, or “PFIC,” which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. investors.
If we are a PFIC for any taxable year (or portion thereof) that is included in the holding period of a beneficial owner of our units, Class A ordinary shares or warrants, the who or that is (i) an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes, (ii) a corporation (or other entity taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) organized in or under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia, (iii) an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income tax regardless of its source, or (iv) a trust, if (a) a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust and one or more U.S. persons (as defined in the Code) have authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (b) it has a valid election in effect under Treasury Regulations to be treated as a U.S. person (a “U.S. Holder”), such U.S. Holder may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences and may be subject to additional reporting requirements. Our PFIC status for our current and subsequent taxable years may depend on whether we qualify for the
PFIC start-up exception.
Depending on the particular circumstances the application of
the start-up exception
may be subject to uncertainty, and there cannot be any assurance that we will qualify for
the start-up exception.
Accordingly, there can be no assurances with respect to our status as a PFIC for our current taxable year or any subsequent taxable year. Our actual PFIC status for any taxable year, however, will not be determinable until after the end of such taxable year. Moreover, if we determine we are a PFIC for any taxable year, upon written request, we will endeavor to provide to a U.S. Holder such information as the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) may require, including a PFIC Annual Information Statement, in order to enable the U.S. Holder to make and maintain a “qualified electing fund” election, but there can be no assurance that we will timely provide such required information, and such election would be unavailable with respect to our warrants in all cases. We urge U.S. investors to consult their tax advisors regarding the possible application of the PFIC rules.
We are an emerging growth company and a smaller reporting company within the meaning of the Securities Act, and if we take advantage of certain exemptions from disclosure requirements available to “emerging growth companies” or “smaller reporting companies,” this could make our securities less attractive to investors and may make it more difficult to compare our performance with other public companies.
We are an “emerging growth company” within the meaning of the Securities Act, as modified by the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. As a result, our shareholders may not have access to certain information they may deem important. We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years, although circumstances could cause us to lose that status earlier, including if the market value of our Class A ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates exceeds
$700 million as of any June 30 before that time, in which case we would no longer be an emerging growth company as of the following December 31. We cannot predict whether investors will find our securities less attractive because we will rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our securities less attractive as a result of our reliance on these exemptions, the trading prices of our securities may be lower than they otherwise would be, there may be a less active trading market for our securities and the trading prices of our securities may be more volatile.
Further, Section 102(b)(1) of the JOBS Act exempts emerging growth companies from being required to comply with new or revised financial accounting standards until private companies (that is, those that have not had a Securities Act registration statement declared effective or do not have a class of securities registered under the Exchange Act) are required to comply with the new or revised financial accounting standards. The JOBS Act provides that a company can elect to opt out of the extended transition period and comply with the requirements that apply
to non-emerging growth
companies but any such an election to opt out is irrevocable. We have elected not to opt out of such extended transition period which means that when a standard is issued or revised and it has different application dates for public or private companies, we, as an emerging growth company, can adopt the new or revised standard at the time private companies adopt the new or revised standard. This may make comparison of our financial statements with another public company which is neither an emerging growth company nor an emerging growth company which has opted out of using the extended transition period difficult or impossible because of the potential differences in accounting standards used.
Additionally, we are a “smaller reporting company” as defined in Item 10(f)(1) of
Regulation S-K. Smaller
reporting companies may take advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations, including, among other things, providing only two years of audited financial statements, and, if their revenues are less than $100 million, not providing an independent registered public accounting firm attestation on internal control over financial reporting. We will remain a smaller reporting company
 
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until the last day of the fiscal year in which (1) the market value of our ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates exceeds
$250 million as of the prior June 30, or (2) our annual revenues exceeded $100 million during such completed fiscal year and the market value of our ordinary shares held
by non-affiliates exceeds
$700 million as of the prior June 30. To the extent we take advantage of such reduced disclosure obligations, it may also make comparison of our financial statements with other public companies difficult or impossible.
Cyber incidents or attacks directed at us could result in information theft, data corruption, operational disruption and/or financial loss.
We depend on digital technologies, including information systems, infrastructure and cloud applications and services, including those of third parties with which we may deal. Sophisticated and deliberate attacks on, or security breaches in, our systems or infrastructure, or the systems or infrastructure of third parties or the cloud, could lead to corruption or misappropriation of our assets, proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data. As an early stage company without significant investments in data security protection, we may not be sufficiently protected against such occurrences. We may not have sufficient resources to adequately protect against, or to investigate and remediate any vulnerability to, cyber incidents. It is possible that any of these occurrences, or a combination of them, could have adverse consequences on our business and lead to financial loss.
 
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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
We maintain our principal executive offices at 1133 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. The cost for our use of this space is included in the $10,000 per month fee we pay to an affiliate of our Sponsor for office space, administrative and support services. We consider our current office space adequate for our current operations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
To the knowledge of our management, there is no litigation currently pending or contemplated against us, any of our officers or directors in their capacity as such or against any of our property.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
 
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
(a) Market Information
Our units, Class A ordinary shares and warrants are each traded on the NASDAQ under the symbols “STWOU,” “STWO” and “STWOW,” respectively. Our units commenced public trading on September 17, 2020. Our Class A ordinary shares and warrants began separate trading on November 9, 2020.
(b) Holders
As of December 31, 2020, there was one holder of record of our units, one holder of record of our Class A ordinary shares, four holders of our Class B ordinary shares, and two holders of our warrants.
(c) Dividends
We have not paid any cash dividends on our ordinary shares to date and do not intend to pay cash dividends prior to the completion of our initial business combination. The payment of cash dividends in the future will be dependent upon our revenues and earnings, if any, capital requirements and general financial condition subsequent to completion of our initial business combination. The payment of any cash dividends subsequent to our initial business combination will be within the discretion of our board of directors at such time. In addition, our board of directors is not currently contemplating and does not anticipate declaring any share dividends in the foreseeable future. Further, if we incur any indebtedness in connection with a business combination, our ability to declare dividends may be limited by restrictive covenants we may agree to in connection therewith.
(d) Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
None.
(e) Performance Graph
Not applicable.
(f) Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities; Use of Proceeds from Registered Offerings.
On July 27, 2020, our Sponsor paid an aggregate of $25,000 for certain expenses on behalf of the Company in exchange for the issuance of 7,187,500 founder shares. The holders of the founder shares agreed to forfeit up to an aggregate of 937,500 founder shares, on a pro rata basis, to the extent that the option to purchase additional units is was not exercised in full by the Underwriters, so that the founder shares would represent 20% of the Company’s issued and outstanding shares after the initial public offering. The over-allotment option expired unexercised on October 31, 2020, thus the 937,500 of Class B ordinary shares were forfeited. Such securities were issued in connection with our organization pursuant to the exemption from registration contained in Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act.
Concurrently with the closing of the initial public offering, the Company consummated the private placement of 4,666,667 private placement warrants, at a price of $1.50 per private placement warrant with our Sponsor, generating gross proceeds of $7.0 million. Each private placement warrant is exercisable for one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the private placement warrants was added to the proceeds from the initial public offering held in the trust account. If the Company does not complete an initial business combination by September 21, 2022, the private placement warrants will expire worthless. The private placement warrants are substantially similar to the warrants underlying the units issued in the initial public offering, except that they are
non-redeemable
and exercisable on a cashless basis so long as they are held by our Sponsor or its permitted transferees. Our Sponsor and the Company’s officers and directors agreed, subject to limited exceptions, not to transfer, assign or sell any of their private placement warrants until 30 days after the completion of the initial business combination. The sale of the private placement warrants was made pursuant to the exemption from registration contained in Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act.
No underwriting discounts or commissions were paid with respect to such sales.
 
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Use of Proceeds
In connection with the initial public offering, we incurred offering costs of approximately $14.4 million (including deferred underwriting commissions of $8.8 million). Other incurred offering costs consisted principally of preparation fees related to the initial public offering. After deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions (excluding the deferred portion, which amount will be payable upon consummation of the initial business combination, if consummated) and the initial public offering expenses, $250.0 million of the net proceeds from our initial public offering and certain of the proceeds from the private placement of the private placement warrants (or $10.00 per Unit sold in the initial public offering) was placed in the trust account. The net proceeds of the initial public offering and certain proceeds from the sale of the private placement warrants are held in the trust account and invested as described elsewhere in this Report.
There has been no material change in the planned use of the proceeds from the initial public offering and the sale of the private placement warrants as is described in our final prospectus related to the initial public offering.
(g) Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
None.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Not applicable.
 
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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and the notes thereto contained elsewhere in this Report. Certain information contained in the discussion and analysis set forth below includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.
This “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” has been amended and restated to give effect to the restatement of our financial statements, as more fully described in Note 2 to our financial statements entitled “Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements”. For further detail regarding the restatement, see “Explanatory Note” and “Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.”
In this Second Amended Filing, we are restating (i) our audited balance sheet as of September 21, 2020, as previously restated in the First Amended Filing, (ii) audited financial statements as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020 previously restated in the First Amended Filing, (iii) and the unaudited interim financial statements as of September 30, 2020, and period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through September 30, 2020, as previously restated in the First Amended Filing.
We have
re-evaluated
our application of ASC
480-10-S99-3A
to our accounting classification of the outstanding Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Public Shares”), issued as part of the units sold in the IPO on September 21, 2020. Historically, a portion of the Public Shares was classified as permanent equity to maintain shareholders’ equity greater than $5 million on the basis that we would not redeem our Public Shares in an amount that would cause our net tangible assets to be less than $5,000,001, as described in the Company’s memorandum and articles of association (the “Charter”). Pursuant to such
re-evaluation,
our management has determined that the Public Shares included certain provisions that require classification of all of the Public Shares as temporary equity regardless of the net tangible assets redemption limitation contained in the Charter. In addition, in connection with the change in presentation for the Public Shares, management determined it should restate earnings per share calculation to allocate income and losses shared pro rata between the two classes of shares. This presentation contemplates a Business Combination as the most likely outcome, in which case, both classes of shares share pro rata in the income and losses of our Company.
Therefore, on November 22, 2021, our management and the Audit Committee concluded that our previously issued (i) audited balance sheet as of September 21, 2020, as previously restated in the First Amended Filing, (ii) audited financial statements as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020 as previously restated in the First Amended Filing, (iii) unaudited interim financial statements as of September 30, 2020 and for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through September 30, 2020 as previously restated in the First Amended Filing; (iv) unaudited interim financial statements included in our Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q
for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on May 24, 2021 and (v) unaudited interim financial statements included in our Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q
for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2021, filed with the SEC on August 18, 2021, should be restated to report all Public Shares as temporary equity and should no longer be relied upon. As such, the Company is restating the 2020 periods herein and intends to restate its 2021 interim financial statements for the Affected Periods in its quarterly reports on Form
10-Q
for the periods ended March 31, 2021 and June 30, 2021.
The restatement does not have an impact on our cash position and cash held in the Trust Account.
Our management has concluded that in light of the classification error described above, a material weakness exists in our internal control over financial reporting and that our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective.
In connection with the restatement, our management reassessed the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures for the periods affected by the restatement. As a result of that reassessment, we determined that our disclosure controls and procedures for such periods were not effective with respect to our internal controls around the proper accounting and classification of complex financial instruments. For more information, see Item 9A included in this Annual Report on Form
10-K.
 
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We have not amended our previously filed Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q
for the period affected by the restatement or our previously filed balance sheet, dated September 21, 2020, on Form
8-K.
The financial information that has been previously filed or otherwise reported for these periods is superseded by the information in this Second Amended Filing, and the financial statements and related financial information contained in such previously filed reports should no longer be relied upon.
The restatement is more fully described in Note 2 of the notes to the financial statements included herein.
Overview
We are a blank check company incorporated on July 21, 2020 as a Cayman Islands exempted company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities, or a business combination, which we have not yet identified. We will not be limited to a particular industry or geographic region in our identification and acquisition of a target company. Our Sponsor is ACON S2 Sponsor, L.L.C., a Delaware limited liability company, or our Sponsor.
Our registration statement for our initial public offering (the “Initial Public Offering”) was declared effective on September 16, 2020. On September 21, 2020, we consummated the Initial Public Offering of 25,000,000 units, or the Units and, with respect to the Class A ordinary shares included in the Units being offered, the Public Shares, at $10.00 per Unit, generating gross proceeds of $250.0 million, and incurring offering costs of approximately $14.4 million, inclusive of approximately $8.8 million in deferred underwriting commissions. The Underwriters were
granted a 45-day option from
the date of the final prospectus relating to the Initial Public Offering to purchase up to 3,750,000 additional Units to cover over-allotments, if any, at $10.00 per Unit. The over-allotment option expired unexercised on October 31, 2020.
Simultaneously with the closing of the Initial Public Offering, we consummated a private placement (the “Private Placement”) of 4,666,667 warrants (each, a “Private Placement Warrant” and collectively, the “Private Placement Warrants”), at a price of $1.50 per Private Placement Warrant with our Sponsor, generating gross proceeds of $7.0 million. If the over-allotment option was exercised, our Sponsor agreed to purchase an additional amount of up to 500,000 Private Placement Warrants at a price of $1.50 per Private Placement Warrant. The over-allotment option expired unexercised on October 31, 2020.
Upon the closing of the Initial Public Offering and the Private Placement, $250.0 million ($10.00 per Unit) of the net proceeds of the sale of the Units in the Initial Public Offering and the Private Placement were placed in a trust account, or the Trust Account, with Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company acting as trustee and invested in United States “government securities” within the meaning of Section 2(a)(16) of the Investment Company Act having a maturity of 185 days or less or in money market funds meeting certain conditions under
Rule 2a-7 promulgated
under the Investment Company Act which invest only in direct U.S. government treasury obligations, as determined by us, until the earlier of: (i) the completion of a Business Combination and (ii) the distribution of the Trust Account as described below.
If we are unable to complete a Business Combination within 24 months from the closing of the Initial Public Offering (i.e., by September 21, 2022) or if we have not executed either a letter of intent, an agreement in principle, or a definitive agreement for an initial Business Combination within 24 months from the closing of the Initial Public Offering (i.e., by September 21, 2022), we will (i) cease all operations except for the purpose of winding up; (ii) as promptly as reasonably possible but not more than ten (10) business days thereafter, redeem the Public Shares, at
a per-share price,
payable in cash, equal to the aggregate amount then on deposit in the Trust Account, including interest earned on the funds held in the Trust Account and not previously released to us to pay our income taxes, if any (less up to $100,000 of interest to pay dissolution expenses) divided by the number of the then-outstanding Public Shares, which redemption will completely extinguish Public Shareholders’ rights as shareholders (including the right to receive further liquidation distributions, if any); and (iii) as promptly as reasonably possible following such redemption, subject to the approval of the remaining shareholders and the board of directors, liquidate and dissolve, subject in the case of clauses (ii) and (iii), to our obligations under Cayman Islands law to provide for claims of creditors and the requirements of other applicable law.
Results of Operations
Our entire activity since inception through December 31, 2020 related to our formation and organization, the preparation for the Initial Public Offering, and since the closing of the Initial Public Offering, the search for a prospective initial Business Combination. We have neither engaged in any operations nor generated any revenues to date. We will not generate any operating revenues until after completion of our initial Business Combination. We have generated
non-operating
income in the form of interest income on cash and cash equivalents following the Initial Public Offering. We have incurred and expect to continue to incur increased expenses as a result of being a public company (for legal, financial reporting, accounting and auditing compliance), as well as for due diligence expenses. Additionally, we recognize
non-cash
gains and losses within other income (expense) related to changes in recurring fair value measurement of our warrant liabilities at each reporting period.
 
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For the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, we had net loss of approximately $3.3 million, which consisted of $1.9 million from changes in the fair value of warrant liabilities, approximately $735,000 in financing costs and approximately $709,000 in general and administrative costs, partially offset by gain on our marketable securities of approximately $5,000.
For the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through September 30, 2020, we had net loss of approximately $777,000, which consisted of approximately $735,000 in financing costs and approximately $42,000 in general and administrative costs.
Going Concern
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $470,000 in our operating bank account, and working capital of approximately $547,000.
Our liquidity needs to date have been satisfied through a payment of $25,000 from our Sponsor to cover certain expenses on our behalf in exchange for the issuance of the Founder Shares (as defined below), the loan to us under a note agreement from our Sponsor of approximately $112,000 (the “Note”), and the net proceeds from the consummation of the Private Placement not held in the Trust Account. We fully repaid the Note on September 21, 2020. In addition, in order to finance transaction costs in connection with a Business Combination, our officers, directors and Initial Shareholders may, but are not obligated to, provide us working capital loans. To date, there were no amounts outstanding under any working capital loans.
Until the consummation of a Business Combination, the Company will be using the funds not held in the Trust Account for identifying and evaluating prospective acquisition candidates, performing due diligence on prospective target businesses, paying for travel expenditures, selecting the target business to acquire, and structuring, negotiating and consummating the Business Combination. The Company will need to raise additional capital through loans or additional investments from its Sponsor, shareholders, officers, directors, or third parties. The Company’s officers, directors and Sponsor may, but are not obligated to, loan the Company funds from time to time or at any time, in whatever amount they deem reasonable in their sole discretion, to meet the Company’s working capital needs. Accordingly, the Company may not be able to obtain additional financing. If the Company is unable to raise additional capital, it may be required to take additional measures to conserve liquidity, which could include, but not necessarily be limited to, curtailing operations, suspending the pursuit of a potential transaction, and reducing overhead expenses.
The Company cannot provide any assurance that new financing will be available to it on commercially acceptable terms, if at all. These conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern until the earlier of the consummation of the Business Combination or the date the Company is required to liquidate, September 22, 2022. The financial statements hereunder do not include any adjustments relating to the recovery of the recorded assets or the classification of the liabilities that might be necessary should the Company be unable to continue as a going concern.
We continue to evaluate the impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic on our financial position, results of operations and/or our search for and ability to identify a prospective target business and have concluded that the specific impact is not readily determinable as of the date of the balance sheet. The financial statements hereunder do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.
Contractual Obligations
We do not have any long-term debt obligations, capital lease obligations, operating lease obligations, purchase obligations or long-term liabilities, other than an administrative services agreement to pay our Sponsor $10,000 per month for office space, secretarial and administrative services provided to us.
Underwriting Agreement
We granted the Underwriters
a 45-day option
from the date of our final prospectus in connection with our initial public offering to purchase up to 3,750,000 additional Units at our initial public offering price less the underwriting discounts and commissions. The over-allotment option expired unexercised on October 31, 2020.
The Underwriters were entitled to an underwriting discount of $0.20 per unit, or $5.0 million in the aggregate, paid upon the closing of our initial public offering. In addition, $0.35 per unit, or approximately $8.8 million in the aggregate will be payable to the Underwriters for deferred underwriting commissions. The deferred fee will become payable to the Underwriters from the amounts held in the Trust Account solely in the event that we complete a Business Combination, subject to the terms of the underwriting agreement.
 
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Critical Accounting Policies
This management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of our financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in our financial statements. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those related to fair value of financial instruments and accrued expenses. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events and various other factors that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. We have identified the following as our critical accounting policies:
Derivative Warrant Liabilities
We do not use derivative instruments to hedge exposures to cash flow, market or foreign currency risks. We evaluate all of our financial instruments, including issued share purchase warrants, to determine if such instruments are derivatives or contain features that qualify as embedded derivatives, pursuant to ASC 480 and ASC
815-15.
The classification of derivative instruments, including whether such instruments should be recorded as liabilities or as equity, is
re-assessed
at the end of each reporting period.
We issued an aggregate of 8,333,333 ordinary share warrants associated with Units issued to investors in our Initial Public Offering and the underwriters’ exercise of their overallotment option and we issued 4,666,667 Private Placement Warrants. All of our outstanding warrants are recognized as derivative liabilities in accordance with ASC
815-40.
Accordingly, we recognize the warrant instruments as liabilities at fair value and adjust the instruments to fair value at each reporting period. The liabilities are subject to remeasurement at each balance sheet date until exercised, and any change in fair value is recognized in the Company’s statement of operations. The fair value of warrants issued in connection with the Initial Public Offering were initially measured at fair value using a Monte Carlo simulation model and have subsequently been measured based on the listed market price of such warrants. The fair value of the Private Placement warrants have been estimated using a modified Black-Scholes-Merton model at inception and subsequently at each measurement date.
Class A Ordinary Shares Subject to Possible Redemption
We account for Class A ordinary shares subject to possible redemption in accordance with the guidance in ASC Topic 480 “
Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity
.” Class A ordinary shares subject to mandatory redemption (if any) are classified as liability instruments and are measured at fair value. Conditionally redeemable Class A ordinary shares (including Class A ordinary shares that feature redemption rights that are either within the control of the holder or subject to redemption upon the occurrence of uncertain events not solely within our control) are classified as temporary equity. At all other times, Class A ordinary shares are classified as shareholders’ equity. Our Class A ordinary shares feature certain redemption rights that are considered to be outside of our control and subject to the occurrence of uncertain future events. Accordingly, at December 31, 2020, 25,000,000 Class A ordinary shares subject to possible redemption are presented as temporary equity, outside of the shareholders’ equity section of the balance sheet.
Effective with the closing of the Initial Public Offering, the Company recognized the remeasurement from initial book value to redemption amount, which, resulted in charges against additional
paid-in
capital (to the extent available) and accumulated deficit.
Net Loss Per Ordinary Share
We have two classes of shares: Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. Income and losses are shared pro rata between the two classes of shares. Net income (loss) per ordinary share is computed by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted-average number of ordinary shares outstanding during the periods. We have not considered the effect of the warrants sold in the Initial Public Offering and the Private Placement to purchase an aggregate of 13,000,000, of the Company’s Class A ordinary shares in the calculation of diluted net income (loss) per share, because their exercise is contingent upon future events and their inclusion would be anti-dilutive under the treasury stock method. As a result, diluted net income (loss) per share is the same as basic net income (loss) per share for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020. The remeasurement adjustment associated with the Class A ordinary shares subject to possible redemption is excluded from earnings per share as the redemption value approximates fair value.
 
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Recent Accounting Standards
Our management does not believe that any recently issued, but not yet effective, accounting standards if currently adopted would have a material effect on the accompanying financial statements.
Off-Balance
Sheet Arrangements
As of December 31, 2020, we did not have any
off-balance
sheet arrangements as defined in Item 303(a)(4)(ii) of
Regulation S-K.
JOBS Act
The JOBS Act contains provisions that, among other things, relax certain reporting requirements for qualifying public companies. We qualify as an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act and are allowed to comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements based on the effective date for private (not publicly traded) companies. We elected to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards, and as a result, we may not comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for
non-emerging
growth companies. As a result, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
Subject to certain conditions set forth in the JOBS Act, as an “emerging growth company,” we are not required to, among other things, (i) provide an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, (ii) provide all of the compensation disclosure that may be required of
non-emerging
growth public companies under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, (iii) comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the PCAOB regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (auditor discussion and analysis), (iv) hold a
non-binding
advisory vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved and (v) disclose certain executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the CEO’s compensation to median employee compensation. These exemptions will apply for a period of five years following the completion of our initial public offering or until we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” whichever is earlier.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
We are a smaller reporting company as defined by Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act and are not required to provide the information otherwise required under this item.
 
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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Reference is made to Pages
F-1
through
F-16
comprising a portion of this Report.
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
None.
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of December 31, 2020, as such term is defined in Rules
13a-15(e)
and
15d-15(e)
under the Exchange Act. Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer has concluded that during the period covered by this report, our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as of December 31, 2020, because of a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Specifically, the Company’s management has concluded that our control around the accounting and presentation of complex financial instrument transactions was not effectively designed or maintained. This material weakness resulted in the restatements of the Company’s balance sheet as of September 21, 2020, its annual financial statements for the period ended December 31, 2020 and its interim financial statements for the quarter ended September 30, 2020. Additionally, this material weakness could result in material misstatements of the financial statements that would not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
Disclosure controls and procedures are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in our Exchange Act reports is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer or persons performing similar functions, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
Management’s Report on Internal Controls over Financial Reporting
This Report does not include a report of management’s assessment regarding internal control over financial reporting or an attestation report of our independent registered public accounting firm due to a transition period established by rules of the SEC for newly public companies.
 
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Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the period ended December 31, 2020 covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K/A that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting except for the below:
Our principal executive officer and principal financial officer performed additional accounting and financial analyses and other post-closing procedures including consulting with subject matter experts related to the accounting for certain complex financial instrument transactions. The Company’s management has expended, and will continue to expend, a substantial amount of effort and resources for the remediation and improvement of our internal control over financial reporting. While we have processes to properly identify and evaluate the appropriate accounting technical pronouncements and other literature for all significant or unusual transactions, we have expanded and will continue to improve these processes to ensure that the nuances of such transactions are effectively evaluated in the context of the increasingly complex accounting standards.
Item 9B. Other Information
None.
 
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Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Directors and Executive Officers
As of the date of this Annual Report on Form
10-K,
our directors and officers are as follows:
 
Name
  
Age
    
Position
Adam Kriger
     54     
Chief Executive Officer and Director
John Roush
     55     
Chief Financial Officer, Chairman and Director
Jonathan Ginns
     56     
Director
Daniel Jinich
     55     
Director
Sarah Kirshbaum Levy
     50     
Director
Ryan Shadrick Wilson
     44     
Director
Janie Goddard.
     49     
Director
Adam Kriger
 is Chief Executive Officer and a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. and Executive Partner in ACON Investments’ private equity group. Mr. Kriger is both a long-term senior executive with experience at world class companies in the food, hospitality and leisure/entertainment industries with a 20+ year track record of driving organic and inorganic growth as well as an entrepreneur in food service. He serves on the board of directors of two ACON Investments portfolio companies: Funko, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNKO) and Novipax. Prior to joining ACON Investments, Mr. Kriger was Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy at The McDonald’s Corporation (2001-2015), responsible for global strategy development and execution driving the future direction of a wide range of aspects of the business. In addition to environmental sustainability leadership in areas of food, agriculture and packaging, McDonald’s has also been a leader in many critical areas of social sustainability nearly from its inception. Its very business model as a franchisor is rooted in social sustainability with local ownership driving a virtuous ecosystem of local employment, human capital development, community development and economic impact. Prior to McDonald’s, Mr. Kriger held similar roles with increasing responsibility from 1988-1999 at The Walt Disney Company and Starwood Hotels, both of which have sustainability credentials in their own areas of strength. He started his career developing his finance and transaction skills at First Boston and Brentwood Capital. He has a B.A. from Stanford and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
John Roush
 is Chief Financial Officer, Chairman and a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. and an executive advisor to ACON Investments. Mr. Roush has over 30 years of operating experience leading medical, life sciences and industrial technology companies ranging in size from $100 million to $1.1 billion in revenue. Mr. Roush serves on the board of two ACON Investments portfolio companies: Pine Environmental Services LLC and International Imaging Materials, Inc., and Novipax. Mr. Roush also serves on the board of directors of Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS), LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. (NASDAQ: LMAT) and Applied LifeSciences & Systems, an early stage company developing vaccination technology to enable antibiotic free poultry. Prior to his work with ACON Investments, Mr. Roush served as CEO of Novanta Inc. (NADSAQ: NOVT), a global supplier of precision photonic components and subsystems. He previously served as President of the $1.1 billion Environmental business for PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE: PKI), which supplies analytical technology and services in the air, water, soil and food safety verticals. Earlier in his career, Mr. Roush held various operating leadership roles with Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and General Electric (NYSE: GE) and also worked at McKinsey & Company, a U.S.-based management consulting firm. Mr. Roush received a B.S.E.E. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
We have also assembled a group of directors who will bring us public company governance, executive leadership, operations oversight, private equity investment management and capital markets experience. Our board members have extensive experience, having served as directors or officers for numerous publicly-listed and privately-owned companies. Our directors have experience with acquisitions, divestitures and corporate strategy and implementation, which we believe will significantly benefit us as we evaluate potential acquisition or merger candidates as well as following the completion of our initial business combination.
Jonathan Ginns
 is a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. and a Founder and Managing Partner of ACON Investments. Mr. Ginns often serves on the board of ACON Investments fund/investment vehicle portfolio companies. Among his current positions, Mr. Ginns serves on the board of Sequitur Energy Resources, LLC. Mr. Ginns has also previously served on the boards of directors of several public companies including Mariner Energy, Inc. (NYSE: ME) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE: NTI), each ACON Investments fund portfolio companies, and Optimal Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPMR). Mr. Ginns received a B.A. in History from Brandeis University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
 
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Daniel Jinich
 is a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. and is a Managing Partner at ACON Investments. Prior to joining ACON Investments in 2000, Mr. Jinich was a Senior Investment Professional with HM Capital Partners (f/k/a Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst), an international private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts. Prior to HM Capital Partners, Mr. Jinich worked for the Merchant Banking Group at Bankers Trust Company, a bank holding company. Mr. Jinich often serves on the board of ACON fund/investment vehicle portfolio companies. Among his current positions, Mr. Jinich serves on the boards of BioMatrix Holdings, L.L.C and Injured Workers Pharmacy LLC. He previously served on the boards of ImpreMedia, LLC, Magic Media Inc., Peter Piper, Inc. and Radiovisa, LLC, among other prior ACON Investments fund/investment vehicle portfolio companies. He is a Member of the YPO Gold U.S. Capital Chapter and Finance Committee Chair for the Bridges Public Charter School. Mr. Jinich received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Sarah Kirshbaum Levy
 is a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. and is the Chief Executive Officer at Betterment LLC, a technology driven financial services company. She currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Funko, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNKO) and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation. Ms. Levy has been an operating executive in the media industry for more than 25 years. Ms. Levy spent 21 years at Viacom, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of Viacom Media Networks. As COO, she oversaw operations and strategy for premier brands including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, and Paramount Network as well as international operations in nearly 200 countries. During her years at Viacom, she led a diverse range of departments and businesses within the Company, from consumer products to TV networks to ad sales. She served as the COO of Nickelodeon for over a decade during which time she oversaw the acquisition and integration of businesses and assets including intellectual property, streaming video, digital gaming and preschool education. Earlier in her career, she worked at The Walt Disney Co. in corporate strategic planning and in Mergers & Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs & Co. Ms. Levy received a B.A. in Economics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Ryan Shadrick Wilson
 is a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. Ms. Shadrick Wilson has an 19+ year track record shaping the future of food and social justice through innovative ideas and businesses. She currently serves on the boards of directors or board of advisors for Territory Foods, Apeel Sciences, Brightseed, ReFED, Treasure8 and Feeding America. Ms. Shadrick Wilson is also a Senior Advisor to the Milken Institute, a
non-profit,
non-partisan
think tank, where she chairs the Feeding Change initiative to catalyze a more nourishing, sustainable and equitable food system. In 2017, Ms. Shadrick Wilson founded Boardwalk Collective LLC, which advises CEOs, philanthropists and investors committed to creating a healthier, happier and more connected world. She previously served as the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel of Michelle Obama’s health initiative Partnership for a Healthier America and was an architect of the fruits and veggies (FNV) campaign for the fruit and veggie movement. Ms. Shadrick Wilson began her career as an attorney at global law firm Hogan Lovells US LLP where she counseled food companies and their trade associations and was involved in pro bono matters related to civil rights, political asylum and capital punishment. Ms. Shadrick Wilson received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Janie Goddard
 is a Director of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. Ms. Goddard is a global business leader who has spent her career in general management and marketing within the Medical Device and Consumer products industries. Ms. Goddard is currently the Divisional Chief Executive (“DCE”) of the Ophthalmology Subsector at Halma, PLC (LSE: HLMA). As DCE, Ms. Goddard serves as chairperson of the Halma Ophthalmic companies including MST, Medicel, Keeler and Volk where she is responsible for P&L management, strategy & portfolio management, talent and acquisitions across the portfolio. Before joining Halma, Ms. Goddard served as President of the Detection & Analysis (“D&A”) Business Unit at Novanta (NADSAQ: NOVT) where she had full P&L responsibility for a portfolio of D&A solutions for medical device OEMs. Prior to Novanta, Ms. Goddard served in leadership roles at Welch Allyn (acquired by
Hill-Rom),
Covidien (acquired by Medtronic) and Johnson & Johnson. In addition to environmental sustainability efforts throughout her career, Ms. Goddard has been a champion of women and minority leadership and development. Before starting her business career, she served as a math teacher with Teach for America. Ms. Goddard received a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
Number and Terms of Office of Officers and Directors
We have seven directors. Our board of directors is divided into three classes, with only one class of directors being elected in each year, and with each class (except for those directors appointed prior to our first annual meeting of shareholders) serving a three-year term. In accordance with the NASDAQ corporate governance requirements, we are not required to hold an annual meeting until one year after our first fiscal year end following our listing on the NASDAQ. The term of office of the first class of directors, consisting of Daniel Jinich and Janie Goddard, will expire at our first annual meeting of shareholders. The term of office of the second class of directors, consisting of John Roush and Ryan Shadrick Wilson, will expire at our second annual meeting of shareholders. The term of office of the third class of directors, consisting of Adam Kriger, Sarah Kirshbaum Levy and Jonathan Ginns, will expire at our third annual meeting of shareholders.
 
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Prior to the completion of an initial business combination, any vacancy on the board of directors may be filled by a nominee chosen by holders of a majority of our founder shares. In addition, prior to the completion of an initial business combination, holders of a majority of our founder shares may remove a member of the board of directors for any reason.
Pursuant to a registration and shareholder rights agreement entered into concurrently with the issuance and sale of the securities in our initial public offering, our Sponsor, upon and following consummation of an initial business combination, will be entitled to nominate three individuals for election to our board of directors, as long as our Sponsor holds any securities covered by the registration and shareholder rights agreement.
Our officers are appointed by the board of directors and serve at the discretion of the board of directors, rather than for specific terms of office. Our board of directors is authorized to appoint persons to the offices set forth in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association as it deems appropriate. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide that our officers may consist of one or more chairman of the board, chief executive officer, president, chief financial officer, vice presidents, secretary, treasurer and such other offices as may be determined by the board of directors.
Director Independence
NASDAQ listing standards require that a majority of our board of directors be independent. Our board of directors has determined that Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard are “independent directors” as defined in the NASDAQ listing standards. Our independent directors have the opportunity to regularly schedule meetings at which only independent directors are present.
Executive Officer and Director Compensation
None of our executive officers or directors have received any cash compensation for services rendered to us. Commencing on the date that our securities were first listed on the NASDAQ through the earlier of consummation of our initial business combination and our liquidation, we will reimburse an affiliate of our Sponsor for office space, secretarial and administrative services provided to us in the amount of $10,000 per month. In addition, our Sponsor, executive officers and directors, and their respective affiliates will be reimbursed for
any out-of-pocket expenses
incurred in connection with activities on our behalf such as identifying potential target businesses and performing due diligence on suitable business combinations. Our audit committee will review on a quarterly basis all payments that were made by us to our Sponsor, executive officers or directors, or their affiliates. Any such payments prior to an initial business combination will be made using funds held outside the trust account. Other than quarterly audit committee review of such reimbursements, we do not expect to have any additional controls in place governing our reimbursement payments to our directors and executive officers for
their out-of-pocket expenses
incurred in connection with our activities on our behalf in connection with identifying and consummating an initial business combination. Other than these payments and reimbursements, no compensation of any kind, including finder’s and consulting fees, will be paid by the Company to our Sponsor, executive officers and directors, or any of their respective affiliates, prior to completion of our initial business combination.
After the completion of our initial business combination, directors or members of our management team who remain with us may be paid consulting or management fees from the combined company. All of these fees will be fully disclosed to shareholders, to the extent then known, in the proxy solicitation materials or tender offer materials furnished to our shareholders in connection with a proposed business combination. We have not established any limit on the amount of such fees that may be paid by the combined company to our directors or members of management. It is unlikely the amount of such compensation will be known at the time of the proposed business combination, because the directors of the post-combination business will be responsible for determining executive officer and director compensation. Any compensation to be paid to our executive officers will be determined, or recommended to the board of directors for determination, either by a compensation committee constituted solely by independent directors or by a majority of the independent directors on our board of directors.
We do not intend to take any action to ensure that members of our management team maintain their positions with us after the consummation of our initial business combination, although it is possible that some or all of our executive officers and directors may negotiate employment or consulting arrangements to remain with us after our initial business combination. The existence or terms of any such employment or consulting arrangements to retain their positions with us may influence our management’s motivation in identifying or selecting a target business but we do not believe that the ability of our management to remain with us after the consummation of our initial business combination will be a determining factor in our decision to proceed with any potential business combination. We are not party to any agreements with our executive officers and directors that provide for benefits upon termination of employment.
 
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Committees of the Board of Directors
Our board of directors has three standing committees: an audit committee, a nominating committee and a compensation committee. Each committee operates under a charter that has been approved by our board and has the composition and responsibilities described below. The charter of each committee is available on our website (https://www.acons2.com/investors). Subject
to phase-in rules
and a limited exception, the rules of the NASDAQ and
Rule 10A-3 of
the Exchange Act require that the audit committee of a listed company be comprised solely of independent directors. Subject
to phase-in rules
and a limited exception, the rules of the NASDAQ require that the compensation committee and the nominating committee of a listed company be comprised solely of independent directors, or, if there is no nominating committee, that director nominations be made, or recommended to the full board, by our independent directors.
Audit Committee
We have established an audit committee of the board of directors. Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard serve as members of our audit committee. Under the NASDAQ listing standards and applicable SEC rules, we are required to have at least three members of the audit committee, all of whom must be independent. Our board of directors has determined that each of Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard are independent under the NASDAQ listing standards and applicable SEC rules. Sarah Levy will serve as the Chairman of the audit committee. Each member of the audit committee is financially literate and our board of directors has determined that Sarah Kirshbaum Levy and Janie Goddard qualify as an “audit committee financial expert” as defined in applicable SEC rules.
The audit committee operates pursuant to a charter detailing the principal functions of the audit committee, including:
 
   
meeting with our independent registered public accounting firm regarding, among other issues, audits, and adequacy of our accounting and control systems;
 
   
monitoring the independence of the independent registered public accounting firm;
 
   
verifying the rotation of the lead (or coordinating) audit partner having primary responsibility for the audit and the audit partner responsible for reviewing the audit as required by law;
 
   
inquiring and discussing with management our compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
 
   
pre-approving all
audit services and
permitted non-audit services
to be performed by our independent registered public accounting firm, including the fees and terms of the services to be performed;
 
   
appointing or replacing the independent registered public accounting firm;
 
   
determining the compensation and oversight of the work of the independent registered public accounting firm (including resolution of disagreements between management and the independent auditor regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or related work;
 
   
establishing procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by us regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or reports which raise material issues regarding our financial statements or accounting policies;
 
   
monitoring compliance on a quarterly basis with the terms of our initial public offering and, if any noncompliance is identified, immediately taking all action necessary to rectify such noncompliance or otherwise causing compliance with the terms of our initial public offering; and
 
   
reviewing and approving all payments made to our existing shareholders, executive officers or directors and their respective affiliates. Any payments made to members of our audit committee will be reviewed and approved by our board of directors, with the interested director or directors abstaining from such review and approval.
Nominating Committee
We have established a nominating committee of our board of directors. The members of our nominating committee are Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard, and Sarah Kirshbaum Levy will serve as chairman of the nominating committee. Under the NASDAQ listing standards, our director nominations must be made, or recommended to the full board, by our independent directors or by a nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors. Our board of directors has determined that each of Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard are independent under the NASDAQ listing standards.
The nominating committee is responsible for overseeing the selection of persons to be nominated to serve on our board of directors. The nominating committee considers persons identified by its members, management, shareholders, investment bankers and others.
 
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Guidelines for Selecting Director Nominees
The guidelines for selecting nominees, which is specified in the nominating committee’s charter, generally provides that persons to be nominated:
 
   
should have demonstrated notable or significant achievements in business, education or public service;
 
   
should possess the requisite intelligence, education and experience to make a significant contribution to the board of directors and bring a range of skills, diverse perspectives and backgrounds to its deliberations; and
 
   
should have the highest ethical standards, a strong sense of professionalism and intense dedication to serving the interests of the shareholders.
The nominating committee will consider a number of qualifications relating to management and leadership experience, background and integrity and professionalism in evaluating a person’s candidacy for membership on the board of directors. The nominating committee may require certain skills or attributes, such as financial or accounting experience, to meet specific board needs that arise from time to time and will also consider the overall experience and makeup of its members to obtain a broad and diverse mix of board members. The nominating committee does not distinguish among nominees recommended by shareholders and other persons.
Compensation Committee
We have established a compensation committee of our board of directors. The members of our compensation committee are Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard, and Sarah Kirshbaum Levy will serve as chairman of the compensation committee.
Under the NASDAQ listing standards, we are required to have at least two members of the compensation committee, all of whom must be independent directors. Our board of directors has determined that each of Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, Ryan Shadrick Wilson and Janie Goddard are independent under the NASDAQ listing standards. The compensation committee operates pursuant to a charter detailing the principal functions of the compensation committee, including:
 
   
reviewing and approving on an annual basis the corporate goals and objectives relevant to our President’s, Chief Financial Officer’s and Chief Operating Officer’s, evaluating our President’s, Chief Financial Officer’s and Chief Operating Officer’s performance in light of such goals and objectives and determining and approving the remuneration (if any) of our President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer based on such evaluation;
 
   
reviewing and approving the compensation of all of our other Section 16 executive officers;
 
   
reviewing our executive compensation policies and plans;
 
   
implementing and administering our incentive compensation equity-based remuneration plans;
 
   
assisting management in complying with our proxy statement and/or annual report disclosure requirements;
 
   
approving all special perquisites, special cash payments and other special compensation and benefit arrangements for our executive officers and employees;
 
   
producing a report on executive compensation to be included in our annual proxy statement, to the extent required; and
 
   
reviewing, evaluating and recommending changes, if appropriate, to the remuneration for directors.
The charter also provides that the compensation committee may, in its sole discretion, retain or obtain the advice of a compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser and is directly responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the work of any such adviser. However, before engaging or receiving advice from a compensation consultant, external legal counsel or any other adviser, the compensation committee will consider the independence of each such adviser, including the factors required by the NASDAQ and the SEC.
Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation
None of our executive officers currently serves, and in the past year has not served, as a member of the board of directors or compensation committee (or other committee serving an equivalent function) of any entity that has one or more executive officers serving on our board of directors.
 
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Code of Ethics
We have adopted a Code of Ethics applicable to our directors, officers and employees. A copy of the Code of Ethics will be provided without charge upon request from us. We intend to disclose any amendments to or waivers of certain provisions of our Code of Ethics in a Current Report on
Form 8-K or
on the Company’s website to the extent required by SEC rules.
Conflicts of Interest
Under Cayman Islands law, directors and officers owe the following fiduciary duties:
 
   
duty to act in good faith in what the director or officer believes to be in the best interests of the Company as a whole;
 
   
duty to exercise powers for the purposes for which those powers were conferred and not for a collateral purpose;
 
   
directors should not improperly fetter the exercise of future discretion;
 
   
duty to exercise powers fairly as between different sections of shareholders;
 
   
duty not to put themselves in a position in which there is a conflict between their duty to the Company and their personal interests; and
 
   
duty to exercise independent judgment.
In addition to the above, directors also owe a duty of care which is not fiduciary in nature. This duty has been defined as a requirement to act as a reasonably diligent person having both the general knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the same functions as are carried out by that director in relation to the Company and the general knowledge skill and experience of that director.
As set out above, directors have a duty not to put themselves in a position of conflict and this includes a duty not to engage in self-dealing, or to otherwise benefit as a result of their position. However, in some instances what would otherwise be a breach of this duty can be forgiven and/or authorized in advance by the shareholders provided that there is full disclosure by the directors. This can be done by way of permission granted in the amended and restated memorandum and articles of association or alternatively by shareholder approval at shareholder meetings.
Certain of our officers and directors presently have, and any of them in the future may have additional, fiduciary or contractual obligations to other entities, including entities that are affiliates of our Sponsor, pursuant to which such officer or director is or will be required to present a business combination opportunity to such entity. Accordingly, if any of our officers or directors becomes aware of a business combination opportunity which is suitable for an entity to which he or she has then-current fiduciary or contractual obligations, he or she will honor his or her fiduciary or contractual obligations to present such business combination opportunity to such entity, subject to their fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law. We do not believe, however, that the fiduciary duties or contractual obligations of our officers or directors will materially affect our ability to complete our initial business combination.
 
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Below is a table summarizing the entities to which our executive officers and directors currently have fiduciary duties, contractual obligations or other material management relationships:
 
Individual
  
Entity
  
Entity’s Business
  
Affiliation
Adam Kriger    ACON Investments, L.L.C.    Investments    Executive Partner
   Borden Dairy (n/k/a BDC Inc.)    Former Dairy Producer    Director
   Funko, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNKO)    Pop Culture Collectibles    Director
   RMH Franchise Investments, L.L.C.    Restaurant Franchisee    Director
   Novipax    Food Packaging    Member of the Board of Directors
   Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago, IL)    Hospital    Director
Daniel Jinich    ACON Investments, L.L.C. and related entities    Investments    Managing Partner
   Injured Workers Pharmacy, LLC    Workers’ Compensation Pharmacy    Chairman of the Board of Directors
   Biomatrix    Specialty Pharmacy    Director
   RMH Franchise Investments, L.L.C.    Restaurant Franchisee    Director
   YPO Gold (U.S. Capital Chapter)    Global Business Leadership Community    Member
   Bridges Public Charter School    Public School    Trustee and Finance Committee Chair
Jonathan Ginns    ACON Investments, L.L.C. and related entities    Investments    Founding and Managing Partner
   Sequitur Energy Resources, LLC    Energy    Director
John Roush    LeMaitre Vascular Inc. (NASDAQ: LMAT)    Medical Device Manufacturing    Director
   Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS)    Industrial Manufacturing    Director
   Applied LifeSciences & Systems    Life Sciences Manufacturing    Director
   International Imaging Materials (IIMAK)    Manufacturing    Chairman of the Board
   Novipax    Food Packaging    Member of the Board of Directors
   Pine Environmental Services LLC    Environmental Services    Director
   ACON Investments, L.L.C. and related entities    Investments    Executive Advisor (consultant)
Sarah Kirshbaum Levy    Funko, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNKO)    Pop Culture Collectibles    Director
   Lucius N. Littauer Foundation    Philanthropic Foundation    Director
   Betterment LLC    Financial Services    Chief Executive Officer
Ryan Shadrick Wilson    Territory Foods, Inc.    Food Tech Company    Chairperson
   Brightseed, Inc.    Food Tech Company    Advisor
   Treasure8    Food Tech Company    Advisor
   Milken Institute    NonProfit Think Tank    Advisor
   ReFED    Food Tech Company    Advisor
   Feeding America    NonProfit Food Organization    Advisor
   Boardwalk Collective    Advisory Organization    Founder
   Betterer Foods Inc.    Food Tech Company    Advisor
Janie Goddard    Halma, PLC (LSE: HLMA)    Manufacturer of Safety, Process, Medical and Environmental Solutions    Divisional Chief Executive within the Medical & Environmental Sector
 
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Potential investors should also be aware of the following other potential conflicts of interest:
 
   
Our executive officers and directors are not required to, and will not, commit their full time to our affairs, which may result in a conflict of interest in allocating their time between our operations and our search for a business combination and their other businesses. We do not intend to have any full-time employees prior to the completion of our initial business combination. Each of our executive officers is engaged in several other business endeavors for which he may be entitled to substantial compensation, and our executive officers are not obligated to contribute any specific number of hours per week to our affairs.
 
   
Our Sponsor subscribed for founder shares and purchased private placement warrants in a transaction that closed simultaneously with the closing of our initial public offering.
 
   
Our Sponsor and each member of our management team have entered into agreements with us, pursuant to which they have agreed to waive their redemption rights with respect to any founder shares and public shares held by them in connection with (i) the completion of our initial business combination and (ii) a shareholder vote to approve an amendment to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association (A) that would modify the substance or timing of our obligation to provide holders of our Class A ordinary shares the right to have their shares redeemed in connection with our initial business combination or to redeem 100% of our public shares if we have not consummated an initial business combination within 24 months from the closing of our initial public offering or (B) with respect to any other provision relating to the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares. Additionally, our Sponsor has agreed to waive its rights to liquidating distributions from the trust account with respect to its founder shares if we fail to complete our initial business combination within the prescribed time frame. If we do not complete our initial business combination within the prescribed time frame, the private placement warrants will expire worthless. Except as described herein, our Sponsor and our directors and executive officers have agreed not to transfer, assign or sell any of their founder shares until the earliest of (A) one year after the completion of our initial business combination or (B) subsequent to our initial business combination, (x) if the closing price of our Class A ordinary shares equals or exceeds $12.00 per share (as adjusted for share subdivisions, share capitalizations, reorganizations, recapitalizations and the like) for any 20 trading days within any
30-trading
day period commencing at least 150 days after our initial business combination, or (y) the date on which we complete a liquidation, merger, share exchange or other similar transaction that results in all of our public shareholders having the right to exchange their ordinary shares for cash, securities or other property. The private placement warrants will not be transferable until 30 days following the completion of our initial business combination. Because each of our executive officers and directors owns ordinary shares or warrants directly or indirectly, they may have a conflict of interest in determining whether a particular target business is an appropriate business with which to effectuate our initial business combination.
 
   
Our officers and directors may have a conflict of interest with respect to evaluating a particular business combination if the retention or resignation of any such officers and directors is included by a target business as a condition to any agreement with respect to our initial business combination. In addition, our Sponsor, officers and directors may sponsor, form or participate in other blank check companies similar to ours during the period in which we are seeking an initial business combination. Any such companies may present additional conflicts of interest in pursuing an acquisition target, particularly in the event there is overlap among investment mandates.
We are not prohibited from pursuing an initial business combination with a business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, officers or directors. In the event we seek to complete our initial business combination with a business that is affiliated with our Sponsor, officers or directors, we, or a committee of independent and disinterested directors, will obtain an opinion from an independent investment banking firm that is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, or from an independent valuation, appraisal or accounting firm, that our initial business combination is fair to our Company from a financial point of view.
ACON Investments and its affiliates manage several investment vehicles. Investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates may compete with us for acquisition opportunities. If these investment vehicles decide to pursue any such opportunity, we may be precluded from pursuing such opportunities. In addition, investment ideas generated within ACON Investments, including by Mr. Kriger and other persons who may make decisions for the Company, may be suitable for both us and for a current or future investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates and may be directed to such investment vehicles rather than to us, subject to applicable fiduciary duties. Neither ACON Investments nor members of our management team who are also employed by ACON Investments have any obligation to present us with any opportunity for a potential business combination of which they become aware solely in their capacities as officers or managing directors of ACON Investments.
 
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ACON Investments and/or our management, in their capacities as officers or managing directors of ACON Investments or in their other endeavors, may choose to present potential business combinations to the related entities described above, current or future investment vehicles managed by ACON Investments or its affiliates, or third parties, before they present such opportunities to us, subject to applicable fiduciary duties. In addition, ACON Investments or its affiliates may sponsor other blank check companies similar to ours during the period in which we are seeking an initial business combination, and members of our management team may participate in such blank check companies.
Furthermore, in no event will our Sponsor or any of our existing officers or directors, or any of their respective affiliates, be paid by us any finder’s fee, consulting fee or other compensation prior to, or for any services they render in order to effectuate, the completion of our initial business combination. Further, commencing on the date our securities were first listed on the NASDAQ, we will also reimburse an affiliate of our Sponsor for office space, secretarial and administrative services provided to us in the amount of $10,000 per month.
We cannot assure you that any of the above mentioned conflicts will be resolved in our favor.
If we seek shareholder approval, we will complete our initial business combination only if a majority of the ordinary shares, represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote thereon, voted at a shareholder meeting are voted in favor of the business combination. In such case, our Sponsor and each member of our management team have agreed to vote their founder shares and public shares in favor of our initial business combination.
Limitation on Liability and Indemnification of Officers and Directors
Cayman Islands law does not limit the extent to which a company’s memorandum and articles of association may provide for indemnification of officers and directors, except to the extent any such provision may be held by the Cayman Islands courts to be contrary to public policy, such as to provide indemnification against willful default, willful neglect, actual fraud or the consequences of committing a crime. Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association provide for indemnification of our officers and directors to the maximum extent permitted by law, including for any liability incurred in their capacities as such, except through their own actual fraud, willful default or willful neglect. We have entered into agreements with our directors and officers to provide contractual indemnification in addition to the indemnification provided for in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. We expect to purchase a policy of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance that insures our officers and directors against the cost of defense, settlement or payment of a judgment in some circumstances and insures us against our obligations to indemnify our officers and directors.
Our officers and directors have agreed to waive any right, title, interest or claim of any kind in or to any monies in the trust account, and have agreed to waive any right, title, interest or claim of any kind they may have in the future as a result of, or arising out of, any services provided to us and will not seek recourse against the trust account for any reason whatsoever (except to the extent they are entitled to funds from the trust account due to their ownership of public shares). Accordingly, any indemnification provided will only be able to be satisfied by us if (i) we have sufficient funds outside of the trust account or (ii) we consummate an initial business combination.
Our indemnification obligations may discourage shareholders from bringing a lawsuit against our officers or directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. These provisions also may have the effect of reducing the likelihood of derivative litigation against our officers and directors, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise benefit us and our shareholders. Furthermore, a shareholder’s investment may be adversely affected to the extent we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against our officers and directors pursuant to these indemnification provisions.
We believe that these provisions, the insurance and the indemnity agreements are necessary to attract and retain talented and experienced officers and directors.
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Executive Officer and Director Compensation
None of our executive officers or directors have received any cash compensation for services rendered to us. Commencing on the date that our securities were first listed on the NASDAQ through the earlier of consummation of our initial business combination and our liquidation, we will reimburse an affiliate of our Sponsor for office space, secretarial and administrative services provided to us in the amount of $10,000 per month. In addition, our Sponsor, executive officers and directors, and their respective affiliates will be reimbursed for
any out-of-pocket expenses
incurred in connection with activities on our behalf such as identifying potential target businesses and performing due diligence on suitable business combinations. Our audit committee reviews on a quarterly basis all payments that were made by us to our Sponsor, executive officers or directors,
 
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or their affiliates. Any such payments prior to an initial business combination are made using funds held outside the trust account. Other than quarterly audit committee review of such reimbursements, we do not expect to have any additional controls in place governing our reimbursement payments to our directors and executive officers for
their out-of-pocket expenses
incurred in connection with our activities on our behalf in connection with identifying and consummating an initial business combination. Other than these payments and reimbursements, no compensation of any kind, including finder’s and consulting fees, is paid by the Company to our Sponsor, executive officers and directors, or any of their respective affiliates, prior to completion of our initial business combination.
After the completion of our initial business combination, directors or members of our management team who remain with us may be paid consulting or management fees from the combined company. All of these fees will be fully disclosed to shareholders, to the extent then known, in the proxy solicitation materials or tender offer materials furnished to our shareholders in connection with a proposed business combination. We have not established any limit on the amount of such fees that may be paid by the combined company to our directors or members of management. It is unlikely the amount of such compensation will be known at the time of the proposed business combination, because the directors of the post-combination business will be responsible for determining executive officer and director compensation. Any compensation to be paid to our executive officers will be determined, or recommended to the board of directors for determination, either by a compensation committee constituted solely by independent directors or by a majority of the independent directors on our board of directors.
We do not intend to take any action to ensure that members of our management team maintain their positions with us after the consummation of our initial business combination, although it is possible that some or all of our executive officers and directors may negotiate employment or consulting arrangements to remain with us after our initial business combination. The existence or terms of any such employment or consulting arrangements to retain their positions with us may influence our management’s motivation in identifying or selecting a target business but we do not believe that the ability of our management to remain with us after the consummation of our initial business combination will be a determining factor in our decision to proceed with any potential business combination. We are not party to any agreements with our executive officers and directors that provide for benefits upon termination of employment.
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
The following table sets forth information regarding the beneficial ownership of our ordinary shares as of the date of this Report, and as adjusted to reflect the sale of our Class A ordinary shares included in the units offered by our prospectus, and assuming no purchase of units in our initial public offering, by:
 
   
each person known by us to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares;
 
   
each of our executive officers and directors that beneficially owns ordinary shares; and
 
   
all our executive officers and directors as a group.
Unless otherwise indicated, we believe that all persons named in the table have sole voting and investment power with respect to all of our ordinary shares beneficially owned by them. The following table does not reflect record or beneficial ownership of the private placement warrants as these warrants are not exercisable within 60 days of the date of this Report.
On July 27, 2020, our Sponsor paid $25,000, or approximately $0.003 per share, to cover certain expenses on our behalf in consideration of 7,187,500 Class B ordinary shares, par value $0.0001, of which 937,500 Class B ordinary shares were forfeited upon expiry of the Underwriters’ over-allotment option on October 31, 2020. Each of our independent directors currently owns 50,000 of the Class B ordinary shares noted above, which were transferred from our Sponsor to them in September 2020. Prior to the initial investment in the Company of $25,000 by our Sponsor, the Company had no assets, tangible or intangible. The per share price of the founder shares was determined by dividing the amount contributed to the Company by the number of founder shares issued.
 
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Class B ordinary shares
   
Class A ordinary shares
       
Name of Beneficial Owners
(1)
  
Number of
Shares
Beneficially
Owned
(2)
   
Approximate
Percentage
of Class
   
Number of
Shares
Beneficially
Owned
    
Approximate
Percentage
of Class
   
Approximate
Percentage
of Voting
Control
 
ACON S2 Sponsor, L.L.C.
(our Sponsor)
(3)
     6,100,000
(4)
 
    97.9     —          —         19.5
Adam Kriger
     —         —         —          —         —    
John Roush
     —         —         —          —         —    
Jonathan Ginns
     —         —         —          —         —    
Daniel Jinich
     —         —         —          —         —    
Sarah Kirshbaum Levy
     50,000       *       —          —         *  
Ryan Shadrick Wilson
     50,000       *       —          —         *  
Janie Goddard
     50,000       *       —          —         *  
Our Sponsor, officers and directors as a group
     6,250,000       100     —          —         20.0
Weiss Asset Management LP
(5)
     —         —         2,000,000        8.0     6.4
Glazer Capital, LLC
(6)
     —         —         2,113,988        8.5     6.8
 
*
Less than one percent.
(1)
Unless otherwise noted, the business address of each of our shareholders is 1133 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036.
(2)
Interests shown consist solely of founder shares, classified as Class B ordinary shares. Such shares will automatically convert into Class A ordinary shares at the time of our initial business combination or earlier at the option of the holders thereof.
(3)
Represents 6,100,000 shares directly held by ACON S2 Sponsor, L.L.C (“Sponsor”). Sponsor is controlled by ACON Investment Holdings, LLC (“Holdings”). The members of Holdings are Bernard Aronson, Kenneth Brotman and Jonathan Ginns.
(4)
Excludes up to 937,500 founder shares that was surrendered to the Company for no consideration by our Sponsor upon the expiry of the Underwriters’ over-allotment option on October 31, 2020.
(5)
Represents shares beneficially owned by a private investment partnership (the “Partnership”) of which BIP GP LLC (“BIP GP”) is the sole general partner. Weiss Asset Management LP (“WAM LP”) is the sole investment manager to the Partnership. WAM GP LLC (“WAM GP”) is the sole general partner of WAM LP. Andrew Weiss is the managing member of WAM GP and BIP GP. Shares reported for WAM GP, Andrew Weiss and WAM LP include shares beneficially owned by the Partnership and by BIP GP. BIP GP, WAM LP, WAM GP, and Andrew Weiss have a business address of 222 Berkeley Street, 16th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02116.
(6)
Represents ownership of shares reported by Glazer Capital, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Glazer Capital”), held by certain funds and managed accounts to which Glazer Capital serves as investment manager (collectively, the “Glazer Funds”). Mr. Paul J. Glazer serves as the Managing Member of Glazer Capital, with respect to the shares held by the Glazer Funds. The address of the business office of Glazer Capital and Mr. Paul J. Glazer is 250 West 55th Street, Suite 30A, New York, New York 10019.
Our Sponsor collectively and beneficially owns 20% of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares and has the right to elect all of our directors prior to our initial business combination. Holders of our public shares will not have the right to elect any directors to our board of directors prior to our initial business combination. Because of this ownership block, our Sponsor may be able to effectively influence the outcome of all other matters requiring approval by our shareholders, including amendments to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association and approval of significant corporate transactions including our initial business combination.
Our Sponsor has agreed (a) to vote any founder shares and public shares held by it in favor of any proposed business combination and (b) not to redeem any founder shares or public shares held by it in connection with a shareholder vote to approve a proposed initial business combination.
Our Sponsor is deemed to be our “promoter” as such term is defined under the federal securities laws.
 
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Changes in Control
None.
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
On July 27, 2020, our Sponsor paid an aggregate of $25,000, or approximately $0.003 per share, to cover certain expenses on behalf of the Company in consideration for issuance of 7,187,500 founder shares (of which 937,500 Class B ordinary shares were forfeited upon expiry of the Underwriters’ over-allotment option on October 31, 2020). The founder shares represented 20% of the Company’s issued and outstanding shares after the initial public offering. The founder shares (including the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise thereof) may not, subject to certain limited exceptions, be transferred, assigned or sold by the holder.
Concurrently with the closing of the initial public offering, the Company consummated the private placement of 4,666,667 private placement warrants, at a price of $1.50 per private placement warrant with our Sponsor, generating gross proceeds of $7.0 million. Each private placement warrant entitles the holder to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share, subject to adjustment. The private placement warrants (including the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise thereof) may not, subject to certain limited exceptions, be transferred, assigned or sold by the holder until 30 days after the completion of our initial business combination.
As more fully discussed in Item 10 “Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance—Conflicts of Interest,” if any of our officers or directors becomes aware of a business combination opportunity that falls within the line of business of any entity to which he or she has then-current fiduciary or contractual obligations, he or she will honor his or her fiduciary or contractual obligations to present such opportunity to such entity, subject to their fiduciary duties under Cayman Islands law. Our officers and directors currently have certain relevant fiduciary duties or contractual obligations that may take priority over their duties to us.
We currently maintain our executive offices at 1133 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. The cost for our use of this space is included in the $10,000 per month fee we pay to an affiliate of our Sponsor for office space, administrative and support services. We consider our current office space adequate for our current operations.
On July 27, 2020, our Sponsor agreed to loan the Company up to $300,000 to be used for the payment of costs related to the Initial Public Offering pursuant to a promissory note (the “Note”). The Note
was non-interest bearing,
unsecured and due upon the closing of the Initial Public Offering. The Company borrowed approximately $112,000 under the Note and repaid this in full on September 21, 2020.
In addition, in order to finance transaction costs in connection with a Business Combination, our Sponsor, members of the Company’s founding team or any of their affiliates may, but are not obligated to, loan the Company funds as may be required (“Working Capital Loans”). If the Company completes a Business Combination, the Company may repay the Working Capital Loans out of the proceeds of the Trust Account released to the Company. Otherwise, the Working Capital Loans would be repaid only out of funds held outside the Trust Account. In the event that a Business Combination does not close, the Company may use a portion of proceeds held outside the Trust Account to repay the Working Capital Loans but no proceeds held in the Trust Account would be used for such repayment. The Working Capital Loans would either be repaid upon consummation of a Business Combination, without interest, or, at the lender’s option, up to $1,500,000 of such Working Capital Loans may be convertible into warrants of the post Business Combination entity at a price of $1.50 per warrant. The warrants would be identical to the Private Placement Warrants, including as to exercise price, exercisability and exercise period. Except for the foregoing, the terms of such Working Capital Loans, if any, have not been determined and no written agreements exist with respect to such loans. To date, the Company had no borrowings under the Working Capital Loans.
The Company entered into an agreement providing that, commencing on September 16, 2020 through the earlier of consummation of the initial Business Combination and the liquidation, the Company will pay our Sponsor $10,000 per month for office space, secretarial and administrative services provided to the Company.
In addition, our Sponsor, executive officers and directors, and any of their respective affiliates will be reimbursed for
any out-of-pocket expenses
incurred in connection with activities on the Company’s behalf such as identifying potential partner businesses and performing due diligence on suitable Business Combinations. The Company’s audit committee will review on a quarterly basis all payments that were made by the Company to our Sponsor, executive officers or directors, or the Company’s or their affiliates. Any such payments prior to an initial Business Combination will be made using funds held outside the Trust Account. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had $40,000 in accrued expenses for related party in connection with such services as reflected in the accompanying balance sheet.
 
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After the completion of our initial business combination, directors or members of our management team who remain with us may be paid consulting, management or other fees from the combined company with any and all amounts being fully disclosed to our shareholders, to the extent then known, in the tender offer or proxy solicitation materials, as applicable, furnished to our shareholders. It is unlikely the amount of such compensation will be known at the time of distribution of such tender offer materials or at the time of a shareholder meeting held to consider our initial business combination, as applicable, as it will be up to the directors of the post-combination business to determine executive and director compensation.
We entered into a registration and shareholder rights agreement pursuant to which our Sponsor will be entitled to certain registration rights with respect to the private placement warrants, the warrants issuable upon conversion of working capital loans (if any) and the Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of the foregoing and upon conversion of the founder shares, and, upon consummation of our initial business combination, to nominate three individuals for election to our board of directors, as long as our Sponsor holds any securities covered by the registration and shareholder rights agreement.
Policy for Approval of Related Party Transactions
The audit committee of our board of directors operates pursuant to a charter that provides for the review, approval and/or ratification of “related party transactions,” which are those transactions required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404 of
Regulation S-K as
promulgated by the SEC, by the audit committee. At its meetings, the audit committee is provided with the details of each new, existing, or proposed related party transaction, including the terms of the transaction, any contractual restrictions that the Company has already committed to, the business purpose of the transaction, and the benefits of the transaction to the Company and to the relevant related party. Any member of the committee who has an interest in the related party transaction under review by the committee shall abstain from voting on the approval of the related party transaction, but may, if so requested by the chairman of the committee, participate in some or all of the committee’s discussions of the related party transaction. Upon completion of its review of the related party transaction, the committee may determine to permit or to prohibit the related party transaction.
We are a Cayman Islands exempted company and our affairs will be governed by our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Act and the common law of the Cayman Islands. Pursuant to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, we are authorized to issue 500,000,000 Class A ordinary shares and 50,000,000 Class B ordinary shares, as well as 5,000,000 preference shares, $0.0001 par value each. The “Description of Securities” section in this Report summarizes the material terms of our shares, as set out more particularly in our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association. Because it is only a summary, it may not contain all the information that is important to you.
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
The following is a summary of fees paid to Marcum LLP (“Marcum”), for services rendered.
Audit Fees
. Audit fees consist of fees billed for professional services rendered for the audit of our annual financial statements and services that are normally provided by Marcum in connection with regulatory filings. The aggregate fees billed by Marcum for professional services rendered for the audit of our annual financial statements and other required filings with the SEC for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) to December 31, 2020, including services in connection with our initial public offering, totaled $62,155. The above amounts include interim review procedures and audit fees, as well as attendance at audit committee meetings.
Audit-Related Fees
. Audit-related services consist of fees billed for assurance and related services that are reasonably related to performance of the audit or review of our financial statements and are not reported under “Audit Fees.” These services include attest services that are not required by statute or regulation and consultations concerning financial accounting and reporting standards. For the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) to December 31, 2020, we did not pay Marcum for consultations concerning financial accounting and reporting standards.
Tax Fees
. We did not pay Marcum for tax planning and tax advice for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) to December 31, 2020.
All Other Fees
. We did not pay Marcum for other services for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) to December 31, 2020.
 
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Pre-Approval
Policy
Our audit committee was formed upon the consummation of our initial public offering. As a result, the audit committee did not
pre-approve
all of the foregoing services, although any services rendered prior to the formation of our audit committee were approved by our board of directors. Since the formation of our audit committee, and on a going-forward basis, the audit committee has and will
pre-approve
all auditing services and permitted
non-audit
services to be performed for us by our auditors, including the fees and terms thereof (subject to the de minimis exceptions for
non-audit
services described in the Exchange Act which are approved by the audit committee prior to the completion of the audit).
 
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PART IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
 
(a)
The following documents are filed as part of this Annual Report:
 
(1)
Financial Statements
 
(2)
Exhibits
We hereby file as part of this Annual Report the exhibits listed in the attached Exhibit Index.
 
Exhibit

No.
  
Description
3.1    Third Amended and Restated Memorandum and Articles of Association.(1)
4.2    Description of Registrant’s Securities.(2)
4.4    Warrant Agreement between Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company and the Registrant.(1)
10.1    Investment Management Trust Agreement between Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company and the Registrant.(1)
10.2    Registration and Stockholder Rights Agreement among the Registrant, the Sponsor and the Holders signatory thereto.(1)
10.3    Private Placement Warrants Purchase Agreement between the Registrant and the Sponsor.(1)
10.5    Administrative Services Agreement between the Registrant and the Sponsor.(1)
10.8    Letter Agreement between the Registrant and the Sponsor.(1)
21    List of Subsidiaries.(2)
31.1    Certification of the Chief Executive Officer required by Rule 13a-14(a) or Rule 15d-14(a).*
31.2    Certification of the Chief Financial Officer required by Rule 13a-14(a) or Rule 15d-14(a).*
32.1    Certification of the Chief Executive Officer required by Rule 13a-14(b) or Rule 15d-14(b) and 18 U.S.C. 1350.**
32.2    Certification of the Chief Financial Officer required by Rule 13a-14(b) or Rule 15d-14(b) and 18 U.S.C. 1350.**
101.INS    XBRL Instance Document*
101.SCH    XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document*
101.CAL    XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document*
101.DEF    XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document*
101.LAB    XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document*
101.PRE    XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document*
 
*
Filed herewith
**
Furnished herewith
(1)
Incorporated by reference to the registrant’s Current Report on
Form 8-K,
filed with the SEC on September 22, 2020.
(2)
Incorporated by reference to the registrant’s Annual Report on
Form 10-K/A,
filed with the SEC on May 24, 2021.
Item 16. Form
10-K
Summary
Not applicable.
 
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SIGNATURES
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this Annual Report on
Form 10-K/A
to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
December 2, 2021
 
ESS TECH, INC.
By:
  /s/
Eric P. Dresselhuys
Name:   Eric P. Dresselhuys
Title:   Chief Executive Officer
 
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ESS TECH, INC. (Formerly ACON S2 ACQUISITION CORP.)
INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
    
Page No.
 
     F-2  
Financial Statements:
  
     F-3  
     F-4  
     F-5  
     F-6  
     F-7  
 
F-1

Table of Contents
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Shareholders and Board of Directors of
ESS Tech, Inc. (formerly ACON S2 Acquisition Corp.)
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying balance sheet of ACON S2 Acquisition Corp
(the “Company”) as of December 31, 2020, the related statements of operations, shareholders’ deficit and cash flows for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Restatement of the 2020 Financial Statements
As discussed in Note 2 to the financial statements, the accompanying financial statements as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from July 21, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020 have been restated.
Explanatory Paragraph – Going Concern
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As more fully described in Note 1 to the financial statements, the Company’s business plan is dependent on the completion of a business combination and the Company’s cash and working capital as of December 31, 2020 are not sufficient to complete its planned activities. These conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s plans in regard to these matters are also described in Note 1. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.
Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
/s/ Marcum LLP
Marcum LLP
We have served as the Company’s auditor from 2020 to 2021.
Melville, NY
March 31, 2021, except for effects of the restatement discussed in Note 2-Amendment 1, as to which the date is May 24, 2021 and Note 2-Amendment 2 and Note 8, as to which the date is December 2, 2021
 
F-2

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ESS TECH, INC. (Formerly ACON S2 ACQUISITION CORP.)
BALANCE SHEET
December 31, 2020
(As Restated – See Note 2)
 
Assets
        
Current assets:
        
Cash
   $ 470,073  
Prepaid expenses
     215,972  
    
 
 
 
Total current assets
     686,045  
    
 
 
 
Other assets
     136,991  
Investments held in Trust Account
     250,004,454  
    
 
 
 
Total Assets
  
$
250,827,490
 
    
 
 
 
Liabilities, Class A Ordinary Shares Subject to Possible Redemption and Shareholders’ Deficit
        
Current liabilities:
        
Accrued expenses
   $ 99,107  
Accrued expenses - related party
     40,000  
    
 
 
 
Total current Liabilities
     139,107  
Deferred underwriting commissions
     8,750,000  
    
 
 
 
Derivative warrant liabilities
     21,354,400  
    
 
 
 
Total Liabilities
     30,243,507  
Commitments and Contingencies
      
Class A ordinary shares; 25,000,000 shares subject to possible redemption at $10.00 per share
     250,000,000  
Shareholders’ Deficit: