Aaron Tsai (蔡逸群), Founder and Chief Capitalist at MAS Capital (名资) and MAS Capital Universal Exchange (MASEx) (名交所), is experienced in investment banking and entrepreneurial ventures. While he is known for pioneering some innovative platforms for investing in securities, his success in the financial sector started decades ago. In fact, he became the “King of Shells”, after he was featured in a Wall Street Journal article in 1999.
In 1999 there were 400+ public shell companies on Wall Street, Aaron controlled 101 public shell companies, nearly a quarter of the market resources. He mastered the art and science of reverse merger by creating public shell companies, used to take private companies public, as an alternative to an IPO, long before the investment bank-sponsored SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) came into the main-stream. SPAC is the upgraded version of a public shell company, listed on NYSE or Nasdaq.
But what exactly is a reverse merger, and what role did Aaron Tsai play to be called the “King of Shells”?
What is a Reverse Merger?
A reverse merger or a reverse takeover is the acquisition of a public company by a private company so that the latter can bypass the lengthy and complex process of going public via an IPO. Basically, the shareholders of the private company purchase control shares of the public shell company and then merge it with their existing company. The publicly traded corporation is called a “shell” since all that exists of the original company is only its organizational structure.
Aaron’s strategy of creating shell companies made him successful in reverse mergers. His first success was the completion of a US$10.5 million IPO for BioDelivery Sciences (Nasdaq: BDSI), which merged with MAS Acquisition XXIII Corp., one of the 101 public shell companies that he created.
Aaron Tsai’s journey to becoming the King of Shells
One of the companies Aaron Tsai first merged was Sloan Electronics, Inc. with MAS Acquisition I Corp.(“Sloan”) wherein he retained 819,917 shares of its common stock or 8.97% of the merged company. Sloan was cleared for trading on the OTCBB (over-the-counter bulletin board) market without going through the long and difficult process of an IPO. Aaron benefited from all these mergers by helping these private companies get listed on the public markets.
Most companies find it hard to get publicly listed because of the regulatory requirements and processes of an IPO, which requires the filing of a registration statement with the SEC. With Aaron’s public shell companies, the companies no longer needed to go through such long and tedious work. Aaron advised these companies to go public and take the necessary steps to raise capital.
These profound insights into securities and markets encouraged Aaron Tsai to found MAS Capital Group Inc. (名资国际), as a financial advisory business, managed by a team of financial professionals in Asia. MAS Capital Group specializes in assisting China-based companies in going public on the US stock exchanges and OTC markets.
Spearheading the STO industry
Being an early recognizer of trends and capitalizing on them, today the financial sector uses spokes of the wheel, envisioned by Aaron Tsai. Today he is advising companies to raise capital through STOs (Security Token Offerings) from large tokenized REITS to corporate equities of (SMEs) small to medium-sized enterprises, throughout Asia from Hong Kong to Dubai.
Aaron has advised over 30 companies worldwide, in going public in the U.S. stock markets via IPO and reverse merger transactions, enabled these companies to raise large amounts of capital and created billions in market capitalization.
Now, Aaron is spear-heading the STO industry by rolling out the 2.0 version of MASEx, a decentralized universal exchange, not only to trade all asset categories on one platform with enhanced transparency but also to transform the financial markets with global integration, to empower the half of the world’s unbanked population. In the not too distant future, a Chinese investor in HK, as well as an unbanked person in Ethiopia with a smartphone can open an account on MASEx to buy US$5 of Dubai REITS tokens, as envisioned by Aaron.