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RedBall SPAC and SeatGeek in merger talks

Deal could be announced as soon as this week, according to Bloomberg

11 October 2021 Ed Dixon

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  • SeatGeek has ticketing partnerships across NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS and Premier League
  • New York-based company last valued at US$571m

Special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) RedBall Acquisition Corp has confirmed it is in exclusive talks with ticketing agency SeatGeek over a potential merger.

RedBall, which is co-chaired by baseball executive Billy Beane (pictured above) and investor Gerry Cardinale, said in a statement that there is no assurance a definitive agreement will be signed, adding that it will not comment further until a transaction is reached or discussions are terminated.

According to Bloomberg, a deal, if agreed, could be announced as soon as this week.

SeatGeek has tie-ups with a number of high-profile sports teams, including the National Football League’s (NFL) Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans, as well as the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Philadelphia Flyers.

New York-based SeatGeek, which is led by chief executive and co-founder Jack Groetzinger, is also the official ticketing partner of Major League Soccer (MLS) and is the majority ticket provider across the English soccer’s Premier League through the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

The company was last valued at US$571 million, according to PitchBook data.

RedBall, meanwhile, held talks last year with Fenway Sports Group (FSG), owner of Liverpool and Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Boston Red Sox, to acquire a minority stake, though discussions ended at the start of 2021.

The SPAC raised US$575 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020, stating at the time that RedBall intended to pursue an acquisition in the sports, media and analytics sectors, with a focus on professional sports teams.

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