SPAC Led by Ex-Disney Execs Kevin Mayer, Tom Staggs Raises $350 Million in IPO03/12/2021
A special-purpose acquisition corporation targeting tech, media and telecom firms led by two former senior Disney execs — Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer — raised $350 million in its upsized initial public offering.
The SPAC, Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II, is led by Staggs (former Disney COO) and Mayer (previously chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International and briefly CEO of TikTok) who both serve as co-CEOs and co-chairs of the board. According to Forest Road, the SPAC was formed for the purpose of rolling up one or more businesses, currently focused on targets in the technology, media, telecommunications, and consumer space.
Meanwhile, Staggs and Mayer have embarked on a roll-up strategy, with backing from private equity firm Blackstone, targeting media companies — with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects media and management firm one of their desired targets, Variety reported last month.
A SPAC is a type of blank-check holding company formed for the purpose of raising capital through an IPO for an acquisition, merger or other business combination — and it’s become a popular way for companies to go public without taking the traditional IPO route.
Separately, last week Mayer was appointed chairman of DAZN, a sports streaming company that is majority owned by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.
In addition to Mayer (above left) and Staggs (above right), the Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II team also includes strategic advisers Shaquille O’Neal, Sheila A. Stamps, Rick Hess and Harlan Cherniak, as well as independent directors Martin Luther King III, Salil Mehta, and Keith L. Horn. The SPAC’s executive ranks include COO Zachary Tarica, CFO Idan Shani and chief investment officer Jeremy Tarica.
The SPAC’s units began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FRXB.U” on March 10, at $10 per unit. As of close of trading Friday, those had increased to $10.40 per unit.
The Forest Road Co., an affiliate of the SPAC’s sponsor entity, is a specialty finance platform across media, real estate, and renewable energy tax credit lending, as well as film tax credit administration and tax credit brokerage.
Both Staggs and Mayer were advisers for the firm’s first SPAC, which last month announced a three-way merger with fitness companies Beachbody and Myx Fitness in deal valuing the combined entity at around $2.9 billion.
Morgan Stanley and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. served as joint book-running managers and Guggenheim Securities served as co-manager for the IPO.
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