Los Angeles–based VIDA FLaSH Acquisitions filed a form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 18 for a proposed IPO of 17.5 million units at $10 apiece. After going public, VIDA FLaSH will identify and acquire a company in the medical technologies, diagnostics, digital health or genomics fields.
SPACs have become a hot investment mechanism in medtech and other industries as the U.S. emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. Just last week, handheld body scanner company Butterfly Network started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BFLY after SPAC Longview Acquisition Corp. completed its merger with it.
Huennekens helped found VIDA FLaSH in January and is its chair; the co-founder and CEO is Dr. Frank Litvack, an interventional cardiologist, UCLA professor and former co-director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Other company leaders include:
- CFO John Blake, CFO of Provisio Medical and former CFO of Second Sight Medical Products;
- Board director Michal Geva, managing partner and co-Founder at Triventures;
- Board director Renee Gaeta, CFO of Establishment Labs;
- Board director Siddhartha C. Kadia, former CEO of EAG Laboratories.
Huennekens and the team will be advised well. Current and former medtech CEOs sitting on the advisory board include Greg Lucier, CEO of Corza Medical and former CEO of Life Technologies; Ronald Matricaria, former president and CEO of St. Jude Medical; D. Keith Grossman, CEO and Chairman of Nevro; Scott Drake, CEO of ViewRay; and Todd Pope, CEO of WellAir (and former CEO of TransEnterix).
Regulatory and academic worlds are well represented The board includes Leslie V. Norwalk, the former acting administrator for CMS during the Bush Administration, who is currently a strategic counsel to Epstein Becker & Green; Adam Boehler, a former CMS official and founder of Rubicon Founders; and Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Technology at Stanford University.
VIDA FLaSH plans to list its Class A ordinary shares and warrants on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols FLSHU, FLSH and FLSHW, respectively. Goldman Sachs is acting as the deal’s sole bookrunner.
VIDA FLaSH will join other SPACs that have been hunting for acquisition deals in medtech. MedTech Acquisition Corp., which has former iRhythm COO Karim Karti as its chair, closed a $250 million IPO in December 2020. Compute Health Acquisition, which counts former Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak as its chair, is had an $862.5 million public offering earlier this month.
SPACs appear to be having a heyday. Harvard Business Review contributor Ivana Naumovska recently predicted that the trend could play out like previous reverse merger boom and bust cycles.