SPAC Merger under IFRS 3

SPAC Merger

Private operating companies seeking a ‘fast track’ stock exchange listing sometimes arrange to be acquired by a smaller listed company (sometimes described as a ‘shell’ company or Special Purpose Acquisition Company or SPAC that is also a ‘shell’ company, especially incorporated (and listed) to serve a reverse acquisition/SPAC Merger). This usually involves the listed company issuing its shares to the private company shareholders in exchange for their shares.

The listed company becomes the ‘legal parent’ of the operating company, which in turn becomes the ‘legal subsidiary’.

A transaction in which a company with substantial operations (‘operating company’) arranges to be acquired by a listed shell company should be analysed to determine if it is a business combination within the scope of IFRS 3.

US GAAP comparison

The registering of securities that are issued by a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — A Form S-1 may be used for the initial registration and sale of shares of a SPAC, a newly formed company that will use the proceeds from the IPO to acquire a private operating company (which generally has not been identified at the time of the IPO). To complete the acquisition of a private operating company, the SPAC may file a proxy or registration statement. Within four days of the closing of the acquisition of the private operating company, the SPAC must file a “super Form 8-K” that includes all of the information required in a Form 10 registration statement of the private operating company.

Is the transaction a business combination?

Answering this question involves determining:

  • which company is the ‘accounting acquirer’ under IFRS 3, ie the company that obtains effective control over the other
  • whether or not the acquired company (ie the ‘accounting acquiree’ under IFRS 3) is a business.

In these transactions, the pre-combination shareholders of the operating company typically obtain a majority (controlling) interest, with the pre-combination shareholders of the listed shell company retaining a minority (non-controlling) interest (i.e. a SPAC Merger). This usually indicates that the operating company is the accounting acquirer.

If the listed company is the accounting acquiree, the next step is to determine whether it is a ‘business’ as defined in IFRS 3. In general, the listed company is not a business if its activities are limited to managing cash balances and filing obligations. Further analysis will be needed if the listed company undertakes other activities and holds other assets and liabilities. Determining whether the listed company is a business in these more complex situations typically requires judgement.

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Disclosure capital management

Disclosure capital management

Get the requirements for properly disclosing capital management procedures applied by your company to provide the users of your financial statements with useful financial data, in the common language prescribed in the world’s most widely used  standards for financial reporting, the IFRS Standards. First there is a section providing guidance on what the requirements are, followed by a comprehensive example, easy to tailor to the specific needs of your company.

Disclosure capital management guidance

Capital risk management

1. Capital is not defined in any of the IFRSs. Entities must describe what they manage as capital, based on the type of information that is provided internally to the key management personnel. It therefore depends on the individual entity as to whether capital includes interest-bearing debt or not.

If such debt is included, however, and the loan agreements include capital requirements such as financial covenants that must be satisfied, then these need to be disclosed under paragraph 135(d) of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements. [IAS 1.134, IAS 1.135]

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IAS 1 Common control transactions v Newco formation

Common control transactions v Newco formation

are two different events, that sometimes interactCommon control transactions v Newco formation

  • Common control transactions represent the transfer of assets or an exchange of equity interests among entities under the same parent’s control. “Control” can be established through a majority voting interest, as well as variable interests and contractual arrangements. Entities that are consolidated by the same parent—or that would be consolidated, if consolidated financial statements were required to be prepared by the parent or controlling party—are considered to be under common control.Determining whether common control exists requires judgment and could have broad implications for financial reporting, deals and tax. Just a few examples are:
    • A reporting entity charters a newly formed entity to effect a transaction.
    • A ‘Never-Neverland‘-domiciled company transfers assets to a subsidiary domiciled in a different jurisdiction.
    • Two companies under common control combine to form one legal entity.
    • Prior to spin-off of a subsidiary by a parent entity, another wholly owned subsidiary transfers net assets to the “SpinCo.”
    • As part of a reorganization, a parent entity merges with and into a wholly owned subsidiary.
  • Newco formations may be used in Business Combinations or businesses controlled by the same party (or parties). Just a few examples are: Common control transactions v Newco formation
    • A Newco can be formed by the controlling party (for example, to facilitate subsequent disposal of the newly created group through an initial public offering (IPO) or a spin-off or by a third-party acquirer (for example to raise funds to effect the acquisition); Common control transactions v Newco formation
    • A Newco can pay cash or shares to effect an acquisition; and
    • A Newco can be formed to acquire just one business or more than one business.

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IAS 36 Other impairment issues

IAS 36 Other impairment issues – When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps: IAS 36 How Impairment test

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review, explained here,
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary, explained here,
  • IAS 36 How Impairment test or understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary, which is explained here

IAS 36 Other impairment issues discusses other common application issues encountered when applying IAS 36, including those related to:

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IAS 36 Determine if and when to test for impairment

IAS 36 Determine if and when to test for impairment – When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps:

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review (see the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment approach),
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary (discussed on this page),
  • How? – Understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary (see IAS 36 Impairment test – How?).

Step 3: IAS 36 Determine if and when to test for impairment

IAS 36 requires an entity to a perform a quantified … Read more

IFRS 9 Proper accounting for Related Company Loans

IFRS 9 Proper accounting for Related Company Loans – IFRS 9 Financial Instruments makes no distinction between unrelated third party and related party transactions. Entities that prepare stand-alone financial statements are required to apply the full provisions of the standard to all transactions within its scope.

This means related company loan receivables must be classified and measured in accordance with the requirements of IFRS 9, including where relevant, applying the Expected Credit Loss (ECL) model for impairment. IFRS 9 Proper accounting for Related Company Loans

Applying IFRS 9 to related company loans can present a number of application challenges as they are often advanced on terms that are not arms-length or sometimes advanced on an informal basis without any terms … Read more

9 Best practical Impairment related company loans

9 Best practical Impairment related company loans – What are related company loans?

Technically not the most difficult question one would think, BUT………

Entities must first consider whether the loan is within the scope of IFRS 9 or another standard. This is because IFRS 9: 2.1(a) scopes out ‘interests in subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures’ that are accounted for in accordance with IAS 27 Separate Financial Statements or IAS 28 Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures i.e. at cost less impairment or using the equity method.

In many cases, it will be clear that the loan is a Read more

Overview IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements

Overview IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial StatementsShort – To establish principles for the presentation and preparation of consolidated financial statements when an entity controls one or more other entities Overview IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements

Longer – IFRS 10 replaces the part of IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements that addresses accounting for subsidiaries on consolidation. What remains in IAS 27 after the implementation of IFRS 10 is the accounting treatment for subsidiaries, jointly controlled entities and associates in their separate financial statements.Contingent consideration Contingent consideration Contingent consideration Contingent consideration Contingent consideration

The aim of IFRS 10 is to establish a single control model that is applied to all entities including special purpose entities. The changes require those dealing with the implementation of IFRS 10 to exercise Read more

IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements quick overview

IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements quick overview provides the fastest overview on financial reporting by entities that have an interest in arrangements that are bound by a contractual arrangement providing two or more parties joint control.

OBJECTIVE

To establish principles for financial reporting by entities that have an interest in arrangements that are controlled jointly (i.e. joint arrangements)

IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements quick overview

IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements quick overview

IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements quick overview

SCOPE

IFRS 11 applies to all entities that are a party to a joint arrangement

DEFINITIONS

Joint arrangement

Joint control

Joint operationJoint operator

Joint ventureJoint venturer

Party to a joint arrangement

Separate vehicle

JOINT ARRANGEMENT

A joint arrangement is an arrangement

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Completely understand 1 consolidated and 2 separate financial statements

Completely understand 1 consolidated and 2 separate financial statements is a summary of the requirements of IFRS 10 Consolidated financial statements, IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements, IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities and IAS 28 Investments in Associates and Joint ventures and IAS 27 Separate financial statements.

Major topics discussed are:

  • The single control model in IFRS 10 that applies to all entities (including ‘structured entities’ or ‘variable interest entities’ as they are referred to in US GAAP). The changes introduced by IFRS 10 require continuous management to exercise significant judgement to determine which entities are controlled, and therefore are required to be consolidated by a parent. IFRS 10 may periodically change which entities are within a group
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