A key shareholder vote appears to have paved the way for Vacasa, the Portland-based vacation-home manager, to debut as a public company next week.
Vacasa announced this summer that it planned to go public in a deal it said would give it an equity value of roughly $4.5 billion.
So why the shareholder vote?
Because Vacasa is bypassing the traditional route to the stock market. It’s going public a different way — through a SPAC deal.
That’s when a shell company raises money through an initial public offering, or IPO, and then buys or merges with a private business that becomes publicly traded, too. In this case, that shell company is TPG Pace Solutions — a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, whose sole job is now to combine with Vacasa and take it public.
But first, TPG Pace Solutions’ shareholders had to approve the deal.
They did that Tuesday afternoon, in a five-minute meeting, with 96% of votes cast in support.
“We are pleased to see the broad investor support for our business combination with TPG Pace Solutions,” said Matt Roberts, Vacasa’s CEO, in a statement. “The transaction positions Vacasa well in the sizable and growing vacation rental market, and we are excited about our future as a public company.”
The business combination is on track to close Monday, the companies said. On Tuesday, Dec. 7, shares of the new public company, Vacasa Inc., are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol VCSA.
A rash of Oregon companies have gone public this year — including Dutch Bros, Expensify and ESS Tech. In fact, it’s boom time for IPOs nationally, with a record number of companies making Wall Street debuts in 2021.
SPAC deals have been part of that frenzy, exploding in popularity in 2020 and early 2021.
For a company such as Vacasa, one advantage of a SPAC merger is the ability to raise capital more quickly than in a traditional IPO. When Vacasa and TPG Pace Solutions announced their planned combination this summer, they said Vacasa would receive up to $485 million in cash from the deal.
That figure could fall, however, if investors in TPG Pace Solutions, the special purpose acquisition company, back out and redeem their shares before the deal closes. That could decrease the money that goes to Vacasa — funds it’s counting on to grow the business.
The minimum cash required to close the deal is $300 million.
TPG Pace Solutions shareholders have until Friday afternoon to redeem shares. The company said it won’t comment on the final deal price until closing.
When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, it battered the vacation rental industry. But now several short-term rental companies are preparing to go public.
Vacasa reported record revenue of $330 million in the third quarter of 2021, up 77% year-over-year. The company said net income in the third quarter — its strongest booking season — rose from $9 million in 2020, to $33 million this year.
But rising revenue doesn’t mean that Vacasa has been raking in overall profits.
Among the risk factors listed in regulatory filings are the net losses Vacasa has incurred every year since inception and the possibility of never achieving profitability.
However, the company recently reported trimming its losses — from $47 million in the first nine months of 2020, to $36.4 million during the first nine months of 2021.