Peter Chernin, producer of the Planet of the Apes remakes and Ford v Ferrari, among many other films, and Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini have formed a special purpose acquisition company seeking $250 million to acquire “consumer-oriented internet businesses,” including companies in media, sports, gaming and wellness, among others.
The SPAC, TCG Growth Opportunities Corp., filed its preliminary prospectus to raise $250 million in an IPO with the Securities & Exchange Commission today. The blank check stated it sees traditional intermediaries that connect consumers with brands—cable companies, print media, retail malls, and distributors—being cut out of the commercial ecosystem by technological advances. “We believe the big winners in this transformation will be brands that can capitalize on this technology, and successfully connect, engage and monetize consumers directly,” the company said in its prospectus.
Chernin is the founder of TCG—The Chernin Group—which invests based on a similar philosophy that tech is altering consumer behavior. TCG has invested in Action Network, Barstool Sports, The Athletic, celebrity video service Cameo and apparel retailer Stadium Goods, among more than 60 primarily business-to-consumer businesses. Most recently, TCG paid $40 million to buy a stake in Goldin Auctions. Separately, though sometimes in tandem with TCG, Chernin produces movies and TV shows, including Best Picture winner Hidden Figures and currently streaming horror movie Underwater. He’s chairman of the board of the TCG SPAC.
Nardini is a director of the SPAC, and also the lead executive of Barstool Sports, the sports and pop culture website best known for social media personality and founder Dave Portnoy. She previously was president of Backstage, a career site for actors and models. A number of other executives are involved as well, including, as co-CEOs, Jesse Jacobs and Mike Kerns, both TCG executives. Jacobs previously was a sports banker at Goldman Sachs and a producer at Fox Sports. Kerns used to be the executive in charge of Yahoo’s homepage, video and media properties. He joined Yahoo in 2010 when it acquired Citizen Sports, a fantasy sports publication he co-founded.
TCG joins 94 other active SPACs looking at sports-related properties or led by executives with sports backgrounds. As a group, they have $23.5 billion in capital, according to the Sportico Sports SPAC Tracker. The TCG blank check wants to sell 25 million units at $10 each, which include a share and a quarter of a warrant, the right to buy another share at $11.50. If TCG successfully prices its IPO, it will have 24 months to make an acquisition or dissolve and return capital to shareholders.
A request for comment through TCG wasn’t immediately returned.