A blank-check company backed by private investment firm Eldridge Industries LLC is betting that the shows will go on, once disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic fade away.
The Eldridge-sponsored special-purpose acquisition company, Horizon Acquisition Corp. , plans to combine with private equity-backed Vivid Seats Inc. in a transaction that would give the Chicago-based reseller of theater, concert and sports tickets an enterprise value of about $2 billion.
The deal reflects a view of Vivid as ready for a return to live events in post-pandemic times, according to Todd Boehly, the co-founder, chairman and chief executive of the investment company as well as head of Horizon. The blank-check company raised about $544 million through an initial public offering last August to finance the purchase of a private business and bring it public.
Eldridge is betting about $305 million on the deal through its investment in the SPAC and a $150 million commitment to a private placement of public equity, or PIPE, that will help pay for the deal, according to a news release. Other investors in the PIPE transaction are contributing $75 million, the release stated.
Current Vivid backers private-equity firms Vista Equity Partners and GTCR are also in on the wager as they plan to roll their equity stakes into the combined public company.