Longtime media executives John Kosner and Emiliano Calemzuk are part of a group aiming to raise $250 million for a special purpose acquisition company.
The group’s filing says 890 5th Avenue Partners will look to invest in an area specific to the expertise of its management team, which includes veterans in media, technology and telecommunications. It specifically mentions sports media, sports betting, esports and fitness platforms as potential targets. The SPAC’s name is a reference to the address of the fictional Avengers Mansion, where many of Stan Lee’s comic book characters lived.
“There are several market verticals we have identified which are undergoing unprecedented levels of disruption in an extraordinarily accelerated timeframe due to a variety of trends, making them attractive pools for business combination candidates,” the group said in a filing.
Those trends include the growing amount of time consumers spend on new platforms, the rush to create and distribute content at a faster rate and the myriad ways digital technology is upending social media, interactive entertainment, gaming and education. Earlier this month Kosner co-authored a Sportico op-ed that hit on some of these themes.
The group’s filing says it is targeting companies with an enterprise value between $750 million and $2 billion. It says it doesn’t have a specific target, nor has it had any substantive discussion about any specific acquisitions.
This is the latest sports-adjacent SPAC to reveal its intentions to raise money and pursue an acquisition, a phenomenon that Sportico has tracked all year (for the current listing, see our SPAC Primer). There are at least 40 SPACs that are sports-focused or are led by sports executives, and collectively, they’ve raised or seek to raise over $16 billion in total capital.
The group’s executive chairman is Adam Rothstein, co-founder of Disruptive Technology Partners and Disruptive Growth, a pair of Israeli investment funds focused on technology. He is also a sponsor of Roth CH Acquisition I Co., a SPAC in the process of acquiring plastics recycling company PureCycle Technologies. Rothstein declined to comment.
Kosner led ESPN’s digital media from 2003 to 2017. After leaving ESPN, he and NBA commissioner emeritus David Stern launched Micromanagement Ventures to invest in sports and technology start-ups. Kosner also runs his consultancy, Kosner Media.
Calemzuk, who will be the group’s CEO, spent 14 years at 21st Century Fox/News Corp, including serving in leadership roles for the group’s scripted and non-scripted television shows and as president of Fox Television Studios. Since leaving the company in 2012, he’s helped Time Inc. build its digital video strategy, participated in a $400 million SPAC led by Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan—the two investors who later took DraftKings public—and is currently an executive at ecommerce and payments platform MercadoLibre.