Stablecoin Issuer Circle Cancels Plan to Go Public

The firm ends SPAC deal under which it would have become a listed company.

AccessTimeIconDec 5, 2022 at 1:11 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:04 a.m. UTC

Circle, the company behind stablecoin USDC, has terminated its agreement with special-purpose acquisition company Concord Acquisition Corp., thereby stepping back from its plan to go public.

The firm said on Monday that the board of both companies approved the move.

The stablecoin issuer had announced plans to go public in July 2021, with a valuation of $4.5 billion. The valuation was later doubled when the firms amended their terms in February.

In a Twitter post, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said his firm didn't complete the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's "qualification in time."

"I believe that the SEC has been rigorous and thorough in understanding our business and many novel aspects of this industry," Allaire added. "This kind of review is necessary to ultimately provide trust, transparency and accountability for major companies in crypto."

The firm also said that it turned profitable in the third quarter of this year and ended the quarter with almost $400 million in unrestricted cash.

The termination follows similar high-profile crypto firms cancelling plans to go public via a SPAC, such as trading platform eToro in July and bitcoin miner PrimeBlock in August.

SPACs have became a common means of companies going public in recent years, with the SEC reporting in March that they accounted for half of all initial public offerings in 2020-21.

In March, the SEC said it would propose “specialized disclosure requirements with respect to, among other things, compensation paid to sponsors, conflicts of interest, dilution and the fairness of these business combination transactions," in a sign that such listings would be subjected to greater regulatory scrutiny.

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 13:44 UTC): Adds additional background information.


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