SeatGeek to go public via $1.35 billion deal with Billy Beane-backed SPAC

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(Corrects paragraph 9 that Credit Suisse, not Redball, acts as a financial advisor)

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(Businesshala) – SeatGeek on Wednesday agreed to go public in a merger with a special-purpose acquisitions firm backed by baseball executive Billy Bean of “Moneyball” fame, giving the online ticketing firm an enterprise value of $1.35 billion.

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

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

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

Redball is co-chaired by Bean and former Goldman Sachs banker Gerald Cardinale.

Bean rose to fame in 2003 with Michael Lewis’ book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”. Before becoming the inspiration for the 2011 film starring Brad Pitt, the book tells the story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and their incredible success after using data-driven performance analysis under General Manager Bean.

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

SPACs are created with the aim of merging with a private company at a later date, in order to go public, bypassing the traditional IPO.

Credit Suisse serves as the financial advisor to SeatGeek.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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