SeatGeek To Go Public Via $1.35B Deal With Billy Beane 

On Wednesday, October 13, SeatGeek agreed to go public in a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, backed by baseball executive Billy Beane of “Moneyball” fame, reported Reuters.

Founded in 2009, SeatGeek’s partners include the Dallas Cowboys, Brooklyn Nets and Liverpool F.C., as well as Major League Soccer, the National Football League, half of the English Premier League, and multiple theaters across New York City’s Broadway and London’s West End.

The deal with RedBall Acquisition will result in gross proceeds of about $675 million, including a $100 million private investment in public equity (PIPE), the companies said.

The investment will be led by venture-capital firm Accel and joined by Qualtrics founder and Chairman Ryan Smith as well as owner of Smith Entertainment Group, which includes the Utah Jazz basketball team, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures.

Beane shot to fame in 2003 with Michael Lewis’s book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”. The book tells the story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and their incredible success after using data-driven performance analytics under general manager Beane, before becoming the inspiration for the 2011 film starring Brad Pitt.

The deal comes at a time when SPAC mergers have slowed, although overall M&A activity has set new records this year.

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