Benessere Capital Acquisition Corp , a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by former President Donald Trump’s business partner Patrick Orlando, secured enough votes from its shareholders on Friday to avoid liquidation.
Benessere Capital extended its deadline of completing a merger from January 7 to July 7 after 65% of shareholders voted in a special meeting in favor of the move. It needed this extension after announcing an $805 million deal in November to merge with hydrogen fuel supplier eCombustible Energy Corp.
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A vote to secure Benessere Capital shareholder approval to merge with eCombustible has yet to be held. Shareholders representing more than 1 million of the 14 million outstanding shares in Benessere have so far voted to redeem them, the company said at its special meeting of shareholders on Friday.
SPACs have often struggled to get retail investors to engage in votes required to press on with their deals. This is because many of them are not accustomed to participating in shareholder meetings once they snap up a company’s shares on trading apps such as Robinhood.
When not enough Benessere Capital shareholders voted at an earlier attempt this week, Orlando made a plea to them to participate and hosted Q&A sessions on online forums such as Reddit to spread the word.
Benessere Capital also asked proxy solicitor Morrow Sodali to contact retail investors by mail and over the phone.
Another Orlando SPAC, Digital World Acquisition Corp announced its plan to merge with Trump’s new social media company in October. A shareholder vote on that deal has yet to be held. (Reporting by Krystal Hu in Toronto; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
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