Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have sued Triller for non-payment of dues worth $28 million. Triller is seen as a competitor to TikTok, which has been facing heat from regulators in several countries over national security issues. How much is Triller worth?
Triller was set to merge with SeaChange International (NYSE: SEAC). However, in June 2022, the two companies mutually called off the merger and said, “It is no longer possible to complete the merger prior to its termination date of June 30, 2022." Triller said that it will instead pursue a direct listing through an IPO.
Triller was valued at $5 billion in the merger transaction.
Triller was valued at $5 billion in the merger transaction with SeaChange. While the deal was structured as a SPAC reverse merger, SEAC isn't a SPAC. After the merger, SeaChange would have changed its name to “TrillerVerz Corp” and traded under the ticker symbol “ILLR.” Also, SeaChange would have become a business unit of TrillerVerz and continued focusing on streaming, cable, and advertisement.
Triller wants "greater control over its destiny."
While announcing plans to go public through an IPO, Triller said, “The current market demands clear and disciplined thinking. After much deliberation, Triller has determined that the best course of action is a direct listing for Triller.” The company’s CEO, Mahi de Silva, said, "A Triller IPO is a cleaner transaction, allowing us greater control of our destiny.”
Even in SPACs, there have been several terminations. The most notable one was eToro’s decision to call off its SPAC merger. Also, many SPACs are winding down as they couldn't find a merger target. Bill Ackman dissolved his SPAC a year after the failed deal to take Universal Music public.
The SPAC market conditions have deteriorated considerably over the last year and most de-SPACs trade well below the IPO price. The list includes some of the hyped names as well as Grab, which was the biggest SPAC merger deal ever.
Coming back to Triller, we don’t know much about its current valuation. However, the $5 billion valuation that it was seeking during the merger was four times its 2020 valuation. The valuation looked high then and looks even uglier now considering the sell-off in growth stocks and the general pessimism in the space.
Triller faces a $28 million lawsuit.
Triller acquired Verzuz, the live music face-off series, from Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. The series was created in 2020 and featured two artists who are pitted against each other. Triller was supposed to pay $18 million initially and another $1 million monthly for 10 months to acquire Verzuz.
Swizz Beatz and Timbaland allege that Triller hasn’t paid its dues and have sued the company. In their court filing, they said, “To date, Defendants [Triller] have failed and refused to make any payment to Mosley [Timbaland] and Dean [Swizz Beatz] of the past due sums due and owing, and Defendants continue in default of their payment obligations under the Agreement.”
That said, after the terminated merger agreement, the lawsuit from Swizz Beatz and Timbaland is yet another controversy for Triller.