What happened

Yesterday was a pretty good day for investors in unproven special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) stocks, which are designed to acquire actual operating companies, then bring them public via reverse-merger IPO. But today is a bit different.

As of 1:50 p.m. EST, shares of Bridgetown Holdings Limited (NASDAQ:BTWN) are down 7.2%, Longview Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:LGVW) has slipped 8.3%, and Tuscan Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:THCB) is doing worst of all -- down an even 10%.

3 colorful arrows all pointing down

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Disturbingly for investors who've sunk their money into these "blank check company" stocks, there's no actual news behind the stock price moves in any of these three names today. No SEC filings have been filed, no analyst reports written, nor have any of the three companies issued any press releases of their own worth noting. In the absence of any actual "news," therefore, today I just want to do a quick review of what these companies are, and what they're planning to do.

Tuscan Holdings announced in early November plans to combine with and bring public "next-generation battery technologies" company and Fiat-partner Microvast Inc. Tuscan noted at the time that Microvast battery technology is already installed in over 28,000 vehicles worldwide, and that the company will generate more than $100 million in sales this year. Uncharacteristically for a SPAC company, Tuscan did not attempt to forecast at what valuation Microvast would go public -- or even name a closing date for the transaction.  

Just one week later, Longview Acquisition announced its own IPO plans, saying it will acquire and bring public Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-backed medical imaging company Butterfly Network, which has an ultrasound transducer that it says will "perform 'whole-body imaging' with a single handheld probe using semiconductor technology." Longview is promising a $1.5 billion pro forma enterprise value for the combined company once it goes public sometime in the first quarter of 2021.  

Bridgetown Holdings is a bit different. Although Bridgetown conducted its own IPO back in October, promising investors that it would be looking to acquire a technology, financial services, or media company in Southeast Asia and try to bring it public in a reverse merger IPO, Bridgetown has yet to announce an actual object of its affections. Two weeks ago, Barron's reported that Bridgetown was looking to potentially acquire Indonesian e-commerce firm Tokopedia -- but no deal has been announced yet. At present, Bridgetown Holdings remains a buyer in search of a seller.    

Now what

And yet, if you've noticed, Bridgetown stock currently sells for nearly $16 a share, and therefore nearly 60% more than it IPOed at just two months ago. Say what you want about Tuscan Holdings trading for more than $17 a share today, and thus up 70% from its IPO price, or Longview trading north of $20 a share -- a clean double. At least those two SPACs have actual, identifiable businesses that they intend to bring public.

Two months after beginning its search for an acquisition, however, Bridgetown still has nothing to offer its investors -- which raises the question why, precisely, investors are willing to pay a 60% premium to own a piece of that nothing?

Judging from today's price action, it looks like more than a few Bridgetown investors are beginning to wonder about that themselves.