Investor Todd Boehly, who owns minority stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers and the L.A. Sparks, wants to raise $500 million to buy a company that can take advantage of the changing ways people access and consume media and entertainment offerings.
Boehly is raising the money through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, named Horizon Acquisition Corp. II. The company filed for an IPO with the SEC last night and includes DraftKings CEO Jason Robins on its board of directors, along with three executives from MRC, a media and entertainment company. MRC and Penske Media, the publisher of Sportico, formed a publishing and content venture last week.
The new SPAC joins the wave of blank check companies coming to market this year, including a number floated by fellow sports club owners. SPACs are shell companies that raise capital in an IPO and then look to acquire a private company seeking to go public. SPACs are an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional IPO, which requires more time, money and disclosures to investors.
Horizon Acquisition II said it intends to target “innovative platforms that support evolving consumer trends,” next-generation tech and traditional media and entertainment businesses “requiring an injection of capital due to exogenous shocks from the current environment,” according to its prospectus. Boehly already has a SPAC—Horizon Acquisition—that has priced and is seeking a target. Blank check companies have two years once they conduct their IPO to acquire a company or else they are required to return initial capital to shareholders. By rule, SPACs cannot negotiate with any prospective companies ahead of their IPO.
Boehly is the CEO of Eldridge Industries, a Connecticut-based conglomerate he co-founded in 2015. Eldridge employs 2,500 people worldwide and has revenue of $1.85 billion, according to data from Dun & Bradstreet. Swiss-born medical device billionaire Hansjorg Wyss owns some of the equity of Eldridge as well. Eldridge holds investments in a wide variety of insurance, media and sports properties, including a series of e-sports investments, DraftKings and the aforementioned California baseball and basketball franchises.