Waitr’s post-SPAC performance triggers litigation, Warburg locks down buyer for Hygiena

SPAC boom leads to litigation and Warburg exits Hygiena.

It’s hump day, hubsters!

I’m back in Brooklyn after a couple months on the other side of the country. I must say it’s nice to wake up with the sun again… let’s hope I brought the weather with me, too!
SPAC boom, and litigation: SPACs have become so popular there was even a rap music video released earlier this month about the proliferation of the capital vehicle. If you haven’t seen it already, check out “Spac Dream” by Cassius Cuvée featuring Mags Lionne and send me your thoughts.

Some 248 SPACs raised $83 billion at IPO last year, six times the sum raised across 59 vehicles the prior year, according to SPAC Data. More than $44 billion has been raised across 149 SPAC IPOs this year alone.

As the flurry of SPAC activity shows no indication of slowing, Bloomberg writes that a federal judge is weighing to what extent sponsors of these ventures can be held liable for failing to deliver. A hearing is set for March 16 and a ruling could come shortly afterward, the report said.

The litigation was triggered by Waitr, which turned out to be a disappointment after merging with Landcadia Holdings Inc., a SPAC sponsored by Tilman Fertitta, a billionaire restaurateur, and Richard Handler, the chief executive officer of Jefferies Financial Group, in November 2018.

Shares of the online food delivery and ordering business plummeted as it lost about 96 percent of its market value in 2019. However, Landcadia, Waitr, Fertitta and Handler deny wrongdoing and are urging the judge to dismiss the case, according to Bloomberg. Read it here.

What are the implications of this and do you expect more litigation to follow? Write to me here.

You heard it hear first: Warburg Pincus has exited its investment in Hygiena, a global provider of food safety and environmental testing solutions.

A Tuesday announcement revealed the buyer is EW Group, a German strategic holding company in the field of animal breeding, health, nutrition and diagnostics. Read PE Hub’s brief on the deal.

Financial terms were not disclosed, however sources in November told me that Hygiena was heading to market, placing the company’s EBITDA at about $76 million. Read my previous coverage.

That’s it for today! Have a great week ahead, and as always, write to me with tips, feedback or any other comments at springle@buyoutsinsider.com.