Better.com’s SPAC gets a lifeline but remains on life support
Digital mortgage lender Better.com’s SPAC deal with Aurora Acquisition Corp. recently got a new lease on life, extending its timeframe to close the transaction through the end of Q3 2023. Without the extension the transaction would have had to close by today.
Further investigation has turned up an interesting fact in the interim: Even if the Better.com SPAC combination closes, the transaction has been all but neutered from a cash perspective. From the company’s pursuant SEC filing (emphasis TechCrunch):
In connection with the vote to approve the Extension Proposal, the holders of 25,751,449 Class A ordinary shares properly exercised their right to redeem their shares for cash at a redemption price of $10.2178 per share, for an aggregate redemption amount of approximately $263,123,592. As such, approximately 92.6% of the Class A ordinary shares were redeemed and approximately 7.4% of the Class A ordinary shares remain outstanding. After the satisfaction of such redemptions, the balance in Aurora’s trust account will be approximately $20,931,627.
Per the company’s original deal presentation, its tie-up Aurora Acquisition would provide around $278 million to the combined company, which the deck noted “assumes Sponsor backstop of 100% of the shares redeemed by existing AURC shareholders pre-closing.”
As Better.com ran headfirst into a climate of higher interest rates and operational issues — its layoffs are now legendary for their callousness and blowback — it did manage to secure a portion of the other capital that was earmarked for the deal. That $750 million infusion, half of a planned $1.5 billion PIPE, or private investment into public equity, provided Better.com with a stronger balance sheet. That said, November 2021 is far in the past.