Circle, the issuer of the hugely popular stablecoin USDC, has called off its planned merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Concord Acquisition Corp, shutting down a much-ballyhooed deal that was first proposed in July 2021 at a valuation of $4.5 billion. 

The plan was for Circle to merge with the SPAC, a kind of shell company with a preexisting supply of investors, before listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CRCL. An amendment to the deal in July revalued the merger at $9 billion, and the two had until Dec 10 to either obtain approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission or extend the time limit until January—but the first wasn’t forthcoming and they haven’t bothered to apply for the extension. 

Neither company disclosed the reason behind giving up on the merger, but Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire maintained that an IPO will still be an eventual part of the company’s strategy. Meanwhile, Bob Diamond, Chairman of Concord Acquisition Corp, said he was still optimistic about the industry. “I remain confident in Circle’s regulatory-first approach to building trust and transparency in the financial industry, which has never been more important, and I will continue being an advocate for the company as it continues to grow,” he said. 

Circle said its total revenue and interest income amounted to $274 million in the third quarter, with a net income of $43 million. The firm also said it had $400 million in unrestricted cash at the end of Q3.

USDC is the second largest stablecoin after USDT, with a market cap of $43 billion.