Sportradar is going public in a deal with blank check firm Horizon Acquisition Corp. II that values the sports data company at $10 billion, according to someone familiar with the negotiations.
Sportradar and the SPAC led by Los Angeles Dodgers minority owner and former Guggenheim president Todd Boehly have a signed letter of intent in place, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the negotiations are private. The deal includes the addition of other investors as part of a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, which will be used to buy down existing Sportradar equity holders.
If the deal closes, it will be one of the largest SPAC valuations—and the largest for a sports-related property. The firm, which currently trades under the ticker symbol $HZON, raised $525 million last year from its IPO and over-allotment sale. Its board includes DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins.
Sportradar founder and CEO Carsten Koerl will remain in place as CEO of the public company, the person said.
A representative for Sportradar declined to comment. A representative for Horizon didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Since Sportico first reported Sportradar’s intent to go public last summer, the business has been the sports world’s hottest target with both special purpose acquisition companies and IPO bankers. Proposed valuations for the business ranged from perhaps $4 billion last summer to multiple offers of more than $10 billion in recent weeks.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Switzerland, Sportradar’s main business is packaging data from global sporting events and selling it to media companies and sports betting operators. It covers over 350,000 sporting events each year across more than 50 sports, and has direct partnerships with many of the world’s largest sports bodies, including the NFL, 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.
The move comes as the value of data soars—for leagues, media companies and betting operators. Sportradar was valued at $2.4 billion during a stake sale just three years ago; Genius Sports, another sports data company, is also going public in a $1.5 billion SPAC deal.
Horizon Acquisition II was formed in September by Boehly, the majority owner of Eldridge Industries, a Connecticut conglomerate with a number of sports investments, including a limited partnership in the Dodgers and a venture capital investment in DraftKings. In addition to Robins, the SPAC directors include three executives of MRC, a publishing company that has a joint venture with Penske Media, Sportico’s publisher.
Because Sportradar is based in Switzerland and Horizon II is registered in the Caymans, the deal likely avoids some concerns about U.S. taxation that has been problematic with U.S. registered SPACs buying foreign-based businesses.
Boehly’s first Horizon SPAC is still seeking a target, one of more than 100 sports-related SPACs, according to the Sportico SPAC Tracker.