What is a unit?

Introduction

A unit is a security that trades on the stock market like any other security, but it actually consists of two or more securities that have been bundled together as a unit. The combination of securities that can be packaged as a unit varies. Most often, a unit consists of a share of common stock along with a warrant to purchase additional shares of common stock. Our database currently contains 468 units that are traded on U.S. stock exchanges, with a total market capitalization of $778,228,315,386. See our list of units.

Units are primarily issued by special purpose acquisition companies, or "SPACs". SPACs are also known as blank check companies or shell companies. In fact, SPACs often go public by first issuing a unit, rather than issuing a common stock. SPAC units initially offered through an IPO usually consist of a common stock and a warrant to purchase additional shares of common stock. A few months after going public by issuing a unit, many SPACs will then separately have the common stock and/or warrants start trading under their own stand alone symbols.

Unfortunately, we don't have very good information on units right now. For example, we don't currently have very good information on the number of outstanding units and resulting total market capitalization, nor do we have good information on the terms of each unit (what securities are included in the unit).

Issuing Entities

Although dominated by SPACs, units can be issued by various types of entities. Here's a breakout of the currently trading units by industry:

Industry# of SecuritiesMarket cap%
3$00.0%
1$3,600,122,7100.5%
Biotechnology2$489,633,2360.1%
Drug ManufacturersóSpecialty & Generic1$15,269,967,5482.0%
Health Information Services1$6,921,369,4400.9%
Oil & Gas E&P1$5,528,0000.0%
Other1$11,270,6060.0%
Shell Companies442$106,261,687,95413.7%
Specialty Chemicals1$34,112,806,0104.4%
Specialty Industrial Machinery1$5,289,501,2360.7%
Tools & Accessories1$29,840,825,4523.8%
UtilitiesóDiversified2$58,837,173,9717.6%
UtilitiesóRegulated Electric8$493,944,753,00463.5%
UtilitiesóRegulated Water1$10,468,497,8441.3%
UtilitiesóRenewable1$204,000,0000.0%
Waste Management1$12,971,178,3751.7%
Total468$778,228,315,386100%


All data is a live query from our database. The wording was last updated: 10/11/2020.

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