SeatGeek Will Go Public Through SPAC Merger With RedBall
SeatGeek has become a reliable option for people who need to buy tickets at lower prices or for ticket holders who just want to sell their tickets quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic caused SeatGeek and many ticketing companies alike to take a huge hit in revenue. Now, the New York-based company wants to rebound from its losses. The ticketing service announced on Oct. 13 that it plans to go public through a SPAC merger with blank-check company RedBall Acquisition Corp.
RedBall was founded by people heavily involved in the sports industry. The acquisition company wants to capitalize on sports entities even more. It has been consistently attempting to acquire a sports organization and turn it public. The merger deal with SeatGeek is a promising acquisition itself. People who want to invest in SeatGeek's pre-IPO can use the EquityZen platform.
RedBall looks to focus on making sport-related entities public.
Since it was founded in 2009, SeatGeek has become one of the largest ticket resellers in the world. Along with resale tickets, it has been able to sell original tickets. The company partnered with entertainment organizations and venues in various cities. Over the years, many public figures have invested in SeatGeek including Ashton Kutcher, Carmelo Anthony, Nas, as well as Peyton and Eli Manning.
RedBall is a fairly new blank-check company. It went public in August 2020 and raised $575 million in its IPO. The SPAC was launched by Gerry Cardinale and Billy Beane. Cardinale is the founder of RedBird Capital Partners, which is an investment firm that focuses on the sports industry.
The firm has over $5 billion in assets, investing in companies like the Yes Network, Redbird F.C., the NFL, and the XFL. RedBird recently invested and partnered with LeBron James’ production company, SpringHill Company. Along with the firm’s investment, companies including Nike and Epic Games invested in SpringHill as well.
Billy Beane is notorious in the sports industry. He’s a former MLB player and the current executive vice president for the Oakland Athletics. The famous movie Moneyball, which starred Brad Pitt, was based on Beane’s success as an executive. He revolutionized baseball with the use of data analytics and has received various awards including MLB executive of the year and Sporting News executive of the year.
SeatGeek and RedBall merger details
The SPAC merger raised $675 million—$100 million came from a PIPE deal, and the other $575 was kept in a RedBall trust account. The PIPE deal investors include NBA star Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith. The deal will reportedly give SeatGeek a valuation of approximately $1.35 billion. The deal allows SeatGeek to pay down $62 million in debt.
How SeatGeek’s SPAC deal rivals Vivid Seat’s deal
Vivid Seat is a ticketing company that rivals SeatGeek. The company announced its plans to go public in April. Vivid Seats agreed to a SPAC merger with Horizon Acquisition Corporation—a blank-check company that’s led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly. Horizon is similar to RedBall. It's also targeting companies involved in the sports industry. On Oct. 14, Vivid Seats announced that it had a PIPE investment from sports betting company DraftKings.
Shareholders of Horizon Acquisition Corp approved the business combination of the company and SeatGeek on Oct. 15. Horizon Acquisition Corp. (HZAC) share prices reached an all-time high on Oct. 15 and surpassed $12. Since Oct. 11, the prices have increased by over 20 percent. RedBall shares have seen minimal price movement, but it has increased by approximately 1 percent since the beginning of October.