The SPAC market continues to grow with a record number of special purpose acquisition companies being offered and a record amount of money raised in January.
That record number reflects more companies and investors with no SPAC experience continuing to enter the market, including some athletes and celebrities. Jim Cramer issued a caution to investors to avoid “celebrity SPAC plays.”
Cramer said these SPACs, “Feel like an inside joke for the super-rich.”
Many athletes and celebrities have investments outside of their everyday line of work and some of these ventures have proven successful. While not every celebrity SPAC is guaranteed to succeed, here is a look at some for investors to consider.
Forest Road Acquisition: NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is a member of the Forest Road Acquisition Corp FRX SPAC team.
O’Neal isn’t just an NBA legend, he also has done well with some of his investments. He was an early investor in Google GOOGGOOGL and Ring, a company acquired by Amazon.com AMZN.
O’Neal sits on the board of directors of Papa John’s International, Inc. PZZA, owns an equity stake in the company and franchise restaurants. O'Neal also owns Auntie Anne's franchise restaurants, part of Focus Brands.
The thing that stands out on this celebrity SPAC is the involvement of three former Walt Disney Co DIS executives. Thomas Staggs was the CFO of Disney from 1998 to 2010, handling financials during a time when the company acquired Capital Cities/ABC, Pixar and Marvel Entertainment. Staggs also served as the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, pushing the company to open a theme park in Shanghai.
Kevin Mayer served as the executive vice president of the internet group including ESPN.com while working at Disney. Mayer was also part of the Disney’s direct to consumer strategy and the launch of Disney+.
Salil Mehta worked at Disney from 1994 to 2008 serving under the ESPN Enterprises division.
Related Link: 6 Sports SPACs To Consider For Your Investing Playbook
Dune Acquisition: Another SPAC with an NBA star is Dune Acquisition Corp DUNEU, which is still trading as units. Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry is a member of the SPAC team searching for a technology or SaaS company.
Curry is a leading endorser for Under Armour Inc UAA and has invested in companies like Slyce, Oxygen, Mos and Guild Education. So-called SPAC king Chamath Palihapitiya is a part owner in the Warriors and could be linked to future deals Curry does.
Bright Lights: Grammy award-winning musician Ciara is part of the SPAC team for Bright Lights Acquisition BLTSU. The SPAC is targeting the consumer products, media, entertainment and sports sectors.
Other members of the management team have worked with companies like Dick Clark Productions, MGM, TV Guide Network, Six Flags, News Corporation and Disney.
Jaws Spitfire Acquisition: Tennis legend Serena Williams is a member of the SPAC team for Jaws Spitfire Acquisition Corp SPFR. Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht is leading the SPAC and has already announced a deal for Cano Health with a prior SPAC of Jaws Acquisition Corp JWS. Williams has invested in over 30 companies with her Serena Ventures including Tonal, Olly and Masterclass.
Slam Corp: Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez is part of the Slam Corporation SLAMU SPAC seeking to raise $500 million. The SPAC will target the sports, media, entertainment, health and wellness and consumer technology sectors. The SPAC is not seeking to acquire a professional sports franchise.
The team includes QuantumScape Corp QS CEO and Co-Founder Jagdeep Singh, who was part of one of the top performing SPAC deals of the last year when his company went public.
Disclosure: The author is long FRXU.
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