Sportradar and Horizon Acquisition Corp. II, the SPAC led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, have extended their negotiating window to hammer out an acquisition agreement, according to a person familiar with the talks.
The two sides just recently began sharing private financial information with prospective institutional investors, part of their plan to sell chunks of equity prior to the company going public, a second person familiar with the negotiations said. Both were granted anonymity because the talks are private.
Horizon in early March signed a letter of intent to take Sportradar public in an acquisition that valued the data company at $10 billion. Though a deal is not guaranteed, and progress has been slow, people on both sides expressed optimism this week that they’ll reach a formal agreement.
A Horizon spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A representative for Sportradar declined to comment.
SPACs and target companies normally have negotiating periods as short as two weeks and as long as eight weeks, so an extension could reflect a simple need for more time or, given recent SEC guidance on SPAC accounting, a need to revisit some aspect of the pending deal to adjust language for regulators.
Should the deal close, it will be among the largest SPAC valuations—and one of the largest for a sports-related property. Horizon, which trades under the HZON ticker, raised $525 million last year from its IPO and over-allotment sale. Its board includes DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins.
Any deal will likely include the addition of investors as part of a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, which is fairly common in SPAC acquisitions (the deal that took DraftKings public, for example, included a $304 million PIPE). Those conversations have just reached the point of private financial disclosures, according to one of the people.
Horizon shares traded as high as $12.16 after Sportico first reported news of the agreement on March 7, but have slid to $10.09 recently, slightly above Horizon’s offering price. The slump in shares may not reflect the deal, but rather the environment for SPACs more generally. After starting the year in a roaring bull market for SPAC formation, demand for blank check businesses has slowed, with institutional PIPE investors growing more cautious about participating in deals and regulators seeking to tamp down excitement. Through March more than 400 new SPACs were formed in 2021, with only a handful filing paperwork since.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Switzerland, Sportradar packages data from global sporting events, and sells it to media companies and sports betting operators. It covers more than 350,000 sporting events each year across more than 50 sports, and it has direct partnerships with many of the world’s largest sports bodies, including the NHL, NBA, MLB, FIFA and NASCAR. The company’s investors include the National Football League, and a trio of NBA owners—Mark Cuban, Ted Leonsis and Michael Jordan—who invested back in 2015.
Boehly is the majority owner of Eldridge Industries, a Connecticut-based firm with a number of sports investments, including a limited partnership in the Dodgers and a venture capital investment in DraftKings. Another Boehly-led SPAC, Horizon Acquisition Corp., recently agreed to acquire ticket marketplace Vivid Seats in a $1.95 billion deal. He is also the sponsor of a third SPAC, Cain Acquisition, which is seeking to price its IPO for $250 million.