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ARYA Sciences Acquisition IV (ARYD) Terminates Caritas Deal
by Nicholas Alan Clayton on 2022-02-24 at 8:34am

ARYA IV (NASDAQ:ARYD) has agreed to mutually terminate its combination with the gene therapy division of biotech firm Amicus (NASDAQ:FOLD).

The news came not from ARYA IV’s end but as a part of Amicus’ quarterly updates and it primarily blamed “unfavorable market conditions affecting IPOs, follow-on financings and SPACs”. Those conditions are real and appear poised to get worse with the latest news out of Eastern Europe, but are also accompanied by news that Amicus’ CEO and COO will both also be moving on.

Whether these departures are a cause or effect of the deal’s fate are purely speculative, but it is possible that there is more than market concerns behind the decision. Nonetheless, neither side will pay breakup fees and ARYA IV has until March 2, 2023 to complete a transaction, which is plenty of time assuming the market is forgiving.

The price performance of biotech de-SPACs had been slipping as seen in SPACInsider’s Full Year 2021 Report, and Amicus itself is down about 31% since the start of the year. More than anything, it could be a sign that we see pressure on more deals struck in better times. Both sides have an easier “out” in blaming market conditions now that one more force majeure has been added to the mix.

The parties originally announced their $242 million combination in September. Headwinds aside, the ARYA team has produced the 9th-best returns (as of today) among serial SPAC teams with an average de-SPAC share price of $11.74, largely thanks to its combination with Cerevel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CERE), which last closed at $23.50.


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