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Return of the SPAC? Entertainment and sports-focused ESH Acquisition Corp prices $100m IPO

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A brand new sports activities and entertainment-focused Particular Function Acquisition Firm (SPAC) whose management crew features a former Disney govt has priced its IPO within the US at $100 million.

ESH Acquisition Corp’s stock debuted on the NASDAQ on Wednesday (June 14) beneath the image ESHA.U, after providing 10 million shares at a value of $10 per share.

ESH is seeking to merge with a enterprise within the music and leisure, sports activities or hospitality industries.

That’s in response to the clean test firm’s registration statement filed with the US Securities and Change Fee (SEC).

ESH stated within the submitting that it, “might pursue an acquisition alternative in any business or sector,” however stated it intends to capitalize on the expertise of its board members within the fields of sports activities, hospitality or music and leisure, “together with vacation spot and regional theme parks, water parks, live performance venues, theaters, cinemas, document labels, music and tv streaming providers, manufacturing corporations and publishing homes.” (Bolding MBW’s)

Within the firm’s prospectus filed back in May 2022, ESH stated that it was planning an preliminary public providing of 30 million shares at $10 per share, which might have given it a price of $300 million, which implies that its IPO was priced at one-third of the worth it had initially deliberate for.

“We consider the ‘expertise economic system’ is positioned for speedy progress and enlargement and we plan to establish goal corporations which might be finest positioned to benefit from these macro tailwinds, win market share and develop into business outperformers.”

ESH prospectus

In line with ESH’s prospectus, “there continues to be an rising world demand for each reside and streaming sports activities and leisure, accelerated by important pent-up demand following the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued progress of on-line and cell purposes and connectivity”

It provides: “We consider the ‘expertise economic system’ is positioned for speedy progress and enlargement and we plan to establish goal corporations which might be finest positioned to benefit from these macro tailwinds, win market share and develop into business outperformers.”

ESH Acquisition is led by CEO and Director James Francis, the founder and former CEO of Chesapeake Lodging Belief and Highland Hospitality.

The corporate’s Chairperson is Allen Weiss, former President of World Vast Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  

Sports activities star and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson was beforehand listed because the Vice Chair within the firm’s prospectus, however is now not on the board in response to an amended S1 filing.

Christina Francis, President of Magic Johnson Enterprises, is called as Director Nominee.

SPACs noticed a increase throughout 2020-2021, through the pandemic-era run-up in inventory costs. Many startup companies noticed them as a sooner solution to get listed on the inventory market, and with much less regulatory oversight.

The variety of SPAC choices within the US jumped from 55 in 2019, to 239 in 2020 and 610 in 2021.

Nonetheless, following the huge enhance of their reputation, the SEC tightened the accounting rules surrounding SPACs in April 2021, inflicting their reputation to plummet. In 2022, there have been a complete of 86 SPAC offerings within the US.

The ESH providing is just the 18th SPAC within the US this 12 months, regardless of it being practically the mid-point of the calendar 12 months.

The music business took benefit of the SPAC increase whereas it lasted, with quite a lot of music corporations making their inventory market debut by way of a SPAC merger between 2020 and 2022.

Amongst them had been music rights acquisition firm Reservoir, which listed on the NASDAQ in 2021 following its merger with Roth CH Acquisition Co. II. The corporate was initially valued at $788 million.

Streaming service Deezer listed on the Euronext Paris exchange in 2022, following a reverse merger with I2PO Societe Anonyme in 2022, in a deal that originally valued the corporate at $1.16 billion.

Lebanon-headquartered, MENA-focused music streaming service Anghami listed on the NASDAQ in 2022, following its merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Firm Inc. at an preliminary worth of $220 million.

Voice recognition firm SoundHound listed on the NASDAQ in 2022 following its merger with Archimedes Tech SPAC Companions Co., in a deal that originally valued the corporate at $2.1 billion.

US-based music distributor and wholesaler Alliance Leisure accomplished its merger with Adara Acquisition earlier this 12 months, at a valuation of $480 million. The brand new firm is now in search of to be listed on the NASDAQ.

Nonetheless, quite a lot of music enterprise SPAC offers have fallen by means of over the previous few years, as traders more and more turned away from a majority of these mergers.

Liberty Media Acquisition Company, which had been arrange “to seek for a goal within the media, digital media, music, leisure, communications, telecommunications and expertise industries,” introduced final 12 months that it could be winding down, after failing to seek out an acquisition goal. SPACs sometimes have two years to buy a enterprise, or return their capital to traders.

One other music-oriented SPAC, the Music Acquisition Company, delisted from the New York Stock Exchange final December, following a shareholder vote to liquidate, with the corporate having did not discover a enterprise to merge with.


As of early buying and selling Thursday (June 15), shares of ESH had been buying and selling at $10.09, up just below 1% from its opening value. ESH expects to shut its providing on June 16.

I-Bankers Securities, Inc. and IB Capital LLC are appearing as joint book-runners managers for the providing, with Dawson James Securities Inc. appearing as co-manager of the providing.

ESH Acquisition Corp. should interact in an preliminary enterprise mixture inside 18 months, as per SEC guidelines.Music Enterprise Worldwide

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