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Cushman & Wakefield, The Latest CRE SPAC Sponsor, Sets $250M Target

Cushman & Wakefield CEO Brett White on a Walker Webcast in June 2020.

Brokerage Cushman & Wakefield is the latest in real estate to form a special-purpose acquisition company, joining hundreds of firms looking to collectively raise billions in the exploding market.

Cushman filed paperwork for C&W Acquisition Corp. with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. It is looking to raise $250M from investors for the SPAC, also known as a blank check company, to eventually acquire a company to take public.

In its filing, Cushman said the corporation was not targeting a specific industry or region, but it will focus on identifying companies that “can benefit from our sponsor’s global footprint, leading brand, operational expertise, client insights, research and data, and procurement scale in the real estate industry.”

That would include “technologies targeting proptech businesses and real estate adjacent businesses” according to its filing. C&W Acquisition Corp. is being led by C&W CEO Brett White and Chief Investment Officer Nathaniel Robinson.

The venture is just the latest in a flurry of blank check companies in the world of commercial real estate. Tishman Speyer launched one in October with a $300M target, which acquired proptech company Latch at a $1.5B valuation. It then launched a second one last month, this time targeting $250M for a proptech deal.

CBRE in November filed paperwork for a $400M SPAC, though it said it doesn't have a specific type of deal in mind.

Cantor Fitzgerald is specifically looking to buy a brokerage with its $400M SPAC, filing paperwork for CF Acquisition Corp. back in December. The paperwork said it is looking to acquire at least one business with a value of around $800M to $2B or more.

A month earlier, a Cantor Fitzgerald-sponsored SPAC had formed a merger with Silicon Valley-based View Inc., a company that creates smart windows that tint the glass to optimize natural light. View debuted on the Nasdaq exchange last week, and its stock price has hovered close to its Tuesday afternoon price of $8.70.  

These SPACs are all entering an extremely crowded market. SPAC IPOs reached 248 last year, University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter told CNBC this week. That is four times as many as launched in 2019, and the number of new SPACs courting investors is set to quadruple again this year.