The merger between Bitcoin mining firm GRIID and a blank-check company has been delayed again.
Adit EdTech, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that announced in November 2021 it would acquire GRIID, said in an SEC filing from last week that it had pushed the deadline for the business combination from January 14 to February 14.
It is the third formal delay to the process. An initial deadline to finalize the deal in May 2022 came and went without comment from the two companies. They then agreed to formally extend the deadline to October 1 of last year. This was then postponed again, with Adit asking its shareholders to approve further delays.
The latest extension is the first of six one-month delays granted at a meeting of the company’s stockholders held in December.
As part of the delay, GRIID has loaned its would-be buyer $148,045.32 to go into a trust account. If no deal is ever completed, shareholders will be entitled to their share of the trust account.
SPACs are listed shell companies that look to acquire businesses and thereby take them public. The $3.3 billion deal between Adit and GRIID was intended, like all SPACs, to work as a kind of reverse takeover, with GRIID becoming a New York Stock Exchange-listed business.
That now looks less likely as Adit also revealed in the new filing that it anticipates it will no longer satisfy the NYSE’s listing standards.
"The Company anticipates that it will no longer satisfy the continued listing standard of the New York Stock Exchange that the Company maintain an average aggregate global market capitalization attributable to its publicly-held shares over a consecutive 30 trading day period of at least $40,000,000," reads the filing.
The company is considering its options, which could include voluntarily transferring its shares to a different exchange.
Decrypt has contacted GRIID and Adit EdTech for comment.
SPACs on the decline
The SPAC process has become popular in the early 2020s as a cheaper and faster alternative to the traditional Initial Public Offering (IPO) process.
The process has faced greater scrutiny in recent years as well as less enthusiasm from a more cautious market. Several deals have been delayed and some called off altogether, while other SPACs have liquidated without ever finding a suitable acquisition target.
According to SPAC Research, 14 SPACs worth $3.7 billion were liquidated in November last year alone.
Other crypto-specific SPAC targets facing similar delays include another miner, Bitdeer, whose $4 billion merger was delayed for a third time in November. Meanwhile, USDC stablecoin issuer Circle called off plans to go public through a SPAC last month.
At the same time, conditions for publicly-listed crypto miners have changed drastically since the GRIID deal was first announced at the peak of Bitcoin’s 2021 price rally.
Lower crypto prices, tougher mining difficulty, and higher energy costs have squeezed the industry and forced some to pivot to alternative revenue streams.