For the company, you get to go public at 1) just the reverse merger fees which is significantly lower than IPO fees, and 2) at less time than going public (basically 1-2 months for the merger to go through)
This is not how spreads work. (The problem is related to determining where the burden of a tax falls.)
If an investor is willing to pay $10 for a company, an IPO gives the company $9 and the banker $1. That same investor would pay $8 for 80% of what those $10 would have bought. The price to the company is, out the door, lower.
I’ll give the SPAC sponsors credit for beating the VCs and investment bankers at the fee game. They get a wider spread than the bankers. (IPO fees aren’t allowed, by law, to go to 20%.) And they get VC carry for what’s essentially a flip. Except it’s better than carry—there’s no hurdle! They could lose 80% of investors’ money and they’ll still get their 20%.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is neither legal nor securities advice.