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Deal activity may have cooled lately, but the issuance of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) has already surpassed the US$100 billion mark this year, according to new research from Refinitiv.

The firm reported that global proceeds in SPAC deals to date exceeds last year’s total for the full year by 23% at over US$100 billion.

In terms of deal volume, there have already been 341 global transactions this year, a 33% jump from the full year record of 257 deals in 2020.

SPAC activity peaked in March, with 116 deals that raised a combined US$34.5 billion, but has since slowed sharply, with just 18 deals in April, raising US$3.9 billion.

“Regulators stepped in with investor warnings and a push for more disclosures and transparency around SPACs, which dampened the mood and caused activity to drop significantly in April to the lowest monthly total since June 2020,” said Lucille Jones, analyst at Refinitiv, in a release.

While the boom in SPACs was driven in part by the perception that they represent a good alternative to a traditional initial public offering (IPO), this year the boom in SPAC transactions has been accompanied by a similar surge in traditional IPO activity, Refinitiv noted.

Combined, traditional IPOs and SPAC IPOs have raised US$251.1 billion so far this year.

The firm reported that Citi leads the underwriting league tables for SPACs this year, with 74 offerings that raised US$15 billion. Goldman Sachs ranked second and Credit Suisse was third.