Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky and publishing veteran Joanna Coles are now on their second hunt for an acquisition together. Northern Star Investment Corp. II, the second special purpose acquisition company from the duo, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, after closing on its initial public offering. The SPAC raised $350 million in the IPO.
Northern Star II is a blank check firm seeking a company to buy in the beauty, wellness, self-care, fashion, e-commerce, subscription and digital media sectors. It’s the second SPAC from Ledecky, the co-owner of the Long Island-based NHL franchise, and Coles, best known for leading content efforts at Hearst. Their first SPAC, named Northern Star Acquisition Corp., reached a deal in December to bring dog products subscription service BarkBox public in a deal valued at $1.6 billion.
In a sign of good investor appetite for the new SPAC, Northern Star II’s IPO was increased from the original $300 million filed for, and the number of warrants included in purchases of units was reduced, from one-fourth of a warrant to one-fifth of a warrant. With some exceptions, SPACs typically are priced at $10 a unit at the IPO, with a unit consisting of one share and a warrant or partial warrant to buy another share at $11.50. The underwriter, Citigroup, also holds a 45-day option to purchase an additional $52.5 million of units to cover excess demand from IPO buyers. Northern Star units were trading up about 6% in midday trading, at $10.57.
Involved in the new SPAC is NFL executive Maryann Turcke, who is a senior advisor to the league and was formerly its chief operating officer. Turcke is one of three people on the board of directors. Coles is CEO and chairperson, while Ledecky is president and COO. A Northern Star II spokesperson declined to comment.
Like all blank check companies, Northern Star has a limited timeframe to make an acquisition, in this case 24 months, or it needs to return the IPO capital back to investors. There are some four dozen SPACs from sports business executives on the market right now.