A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by United Talent Agency has priced its initial public offering at $200 million, and plans to use that capital to pursue a company in the gaming, creator economy, and digital media sectors. The SPAC expects to begin trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker “UTAAU” Thursday.
The SPAC, UTA Acquisition Corporation, is being led by former Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aimé, who is its chairman, alongside co-CEOs Clinton Foy, who is a general partner of venture capital at UTA, and Jamie Sharp, who was previously an executive at Google. Ophir Lupu, UTA’s head of video games, will be president of the SPAC.
SPACs tend to succeed based on the relationships of their executives and board members, and UTA Acquisition has assembled some significant names for the SPAC’s board. Former CBS Entertainment and Microsoft executive Nancy Tellem will be a board member, as will Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and Beachbody Company chief strategy officer and former Legendary Entertainment exec Kathy Vrabeck.
According to the company’s S-1 filing with the SEC, it intends to use the contacts and resources of UTA and its executives to find a suitable merger partner. As with most SPACs, shares will be sold at $10 each, with 20 million planned for the IPO.
“The strategic landscape in our areas of focus is evolving rapidly, as the traditional value chain across creators, developers, publishers, distributors and other key constituents has experienced significant disruption,” the company writes in the filing. “We believe a number of underlying dynamics behind this disruption create a need for investment capital to fund growth and meet increased demand and that our management team is well-positioned to evaluate potential targets. We believe a number of these key trends will attract an expanding universe of content creators with whom we have differentiated access via the relationships of our management and our sponsor.”
The company specifically said it would seek companies that have “compelling intellectual property and communities,” the “potential to leverage new technologies across multiple dimensions,” a proven leadership team, and “scale and global ambitions.”
UTA has been active in the gaming, esports and creator economy areas as an agency, so the SPAC’s target focus isn’t exactly a huge leap.
While the SPAC market has cooled somewhat since its peak last year, a number of high-profile entertainment figures are still exploring the space. A number of former CBS executives are in the market through their Argus Capital SPAC, and BuzzFeed and Faze Clan have signed deals to go public through SPAC mergers. Even former President Donald Trump is using a SPAC to launch a social network and streaming service.