DraftKings Invests in SPAC Merging with Vivid Seats

Posted on: October 14, 2021, 09:06h. 

Last updated on: October 14, 2021, 09:15h.

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) announced today it’s providing private investment in public equity (PIPE) to Horizon Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:HZAC) — the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merging with online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats.

DraftKings Vivid Seats
SPAC investor Todd Boehly is bringing Vivid Seats public. The company procured financing from DraftKings. (Image: Bloomberg)

Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries, an affiliate of Horizon’s sponsor, Horizon Sponsor, LLC, is entering into the agreement with DraftKings. Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly is the founder of Horizon Acquisition and will serve as a director on the Vivid Seats board. The exact amount of DraftKings’ PIPE wasn’t revealed.

The investment will be part of the previously announced PIPE financing for the transaction, with DraftKings assuming a portion of Eldridge’s commitment,” according to a statement.

When Horizon and Vivid Seats announced merger plans in April, the transaction was valued at $1.95 billion, including $769 million in gross proceeds to be directed to the internet ticket broker. Of that $769 million, $225 million was slated to be PIPE from Boehly’s Eldridge Industries and Fidelity. DraftKings is picking up a portion of that tab.

Potentially Sweet Deal for DraftKings

Through the PIPE commitment, DraftKings is getting an asset that could appreciate.

“As part of the investment, Eldridge has agreed to provide DraftKings the option to sell its Vivid Seats shares to Eldridge on the business day following the first anniversary of Horizon and Vivid Seats’ business combination closing at price of $9.77 per share, conditioned upon DraftKings continuously holding the Vivid Seats shares until such date,” according to the statement.

News of DraftKings’ investment sent the SPAC shares higher by 11.5 percent in midday trading on volume that’s already more than triple the daily average. That indicates that while a slew of de-SPACed companies are tumbling this year, the DraftKings name carries plenty of cache in the investment community.

Vivid Seats’ merger with Horizon Acquisition is expected to close on Oct. 18, with the target making its debut as a standalone public company the following day. It will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker “SEAT.”

Other DraftKings, Horizon Ties

DraftKings cofounder and CEO Jason Robins is an adviser to another Boehly SPAC – Horizon Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: HZON).

Earlier this year, rumors swirled that the blank-check company was close to a merger with sports betting data provider Sportradar (NASDAQ:SRAD). But that deal fell apart, prompting Sportradar to pursue a traditional initial public offering.

DraftKings itself came to market via a blank-check merger. Horizon Acquisition Corp. II has yet to announce another merger partner, and it has about a year left to do so, or risk liquidation.

In 2017, Boehly’s Eldridge Industries made a $100 million investment in DraftKings.