Digital ticketing marketplace Vivid Seats has agreed to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), valuing the company at $1.95bn.
New York-listed Horizon Acquisition Corp, a blank-check firm which is backed by sports tycoon Todd Boehly, will merge with the ticketing firm, providing it with $769m in gross proceeds.
It will also receive a private investment of $225m from investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and Eldridge Industries LLC.
Boehly said: “We are pleased to bring Vivid Seats to the public markets. With its favourable mix of live events, and its growing list of strategic partners, Vivid Seats has built an impressive technology platform, as well as a substantial customer base. Vivid Seats is a scaled, growing and highly profitable marketplace that will be well positioned to drive continual long-term growth.”
Bloomberg reported last month that the company was in advanced talks with Boehly, who is the co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball franchise, which has now been confirmed.
Completion of the proposed business combination is expected in the second half of 2021.
Vivid Seats, which is led by chief executive Stan Chia and is based in Chicago, facilitates the buying and selling of sports, event and concert tickets. The company is presently looking to differentiate itself from rivals through a new rewards programme, which will offer nine per cent cash back on some transactions.
Chia said: “We are thrilled to partner with Horizon, bringing together the trusted Vivid Seats brand and our deep expertise in the live events industry with a portfolio of unique and accretive relationships brought by Horizon that can accelerate our growth.
“With our Vivid Seats Rewards loyalty program and outstanding customer service, we are poised to drive growth while continuing to innovate and improve the user experience for our loyal customers.”
Vivid Seats’ accommodating policies during the coronavirus pandemic have given it a “unique opportunity to drive outsized growth during post-pandemic recovery,” according to the statement.
Existing Vivid Seats shareholders will roll 100 per cent of their equity into the new company, with all proceeds from this transaction being used for debt repayment and capital structure optimisation.
Horizon raised $544m in an August initial public offering (IPO) last year.