Atlanta Falcons minority owner behind latest sports-related SPAC

Sports Ventures Acquisition looking to raise US$200m from IPO.

  • Alan Kestenbaum joined on management team by and Daniel Strauss
  • US-based franchises and European soccer clubs among acquisition targets, as well as rugby, cricket and teams

Alan Kestenbaum, a minority owner of the National Football League’s (NFL) Atlanta Falcons, is heading up the latest sports-related special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to have launched in recent months.

Sports Ventures Acquisition filed with the US securities and exchange commission (SEC) on 9th October with an aim of raising US$200 million from its initial public offering.

The company said it plans to pursue an acquisition in the sports, media and sectors, including ‘traditional and emerging sports’, as well as ‘film and television production and infrastructure’.

More specifically, the filing said the company will US-based sports franchises and European soccer clubs, as well as teams in cricket, rugby and esports. It also listed businesses related to fan engagement, agencies, data, analytics and ticketing as potential targets, in addition to media rights and content platforms, as well as regional sports networks.

Kestenbaum (pictured), who became a minority owner of the Falcons in March last year, will serve as chairman and chief executive of Sports Ventures Acquisition. The management team also comprises president and chief financial officer Robert Tilliss, who is founder and chief executive of boutique investment bank Inner Circle Sports, and chief operating officer Daniel Strauss, the current chief executive of GlassBridge Enterprises.

Sports Ventures Acquisition is the latest sports-related SPAC to launch in recent months after Gerry Cardinale and Billy Beane’s Corp was described as the first of its kind in August.

Since then, Eric Grubman and John Collins, who have previously held roles at the NFL and National Hockey League (NHL), as well as at premium hospitality company On Location Experiences, have formed Sports Acquisition Corp, which is hoping to raise US$350 million in its IPO.

SPACs, which are publicly traded companies formed specifically to make an acquisition, have become increasingly popular this year. According to SPAC research, such blank-cheque firms have already raised US$53.8 billion in 2020, compared with US$13.6 billion in the whole of 2019.

Source: SportsPro – Atlanta Falcons minority owner behind latest sports-related SPAC