SPAC Update (2/1): Another Manic Merger Monday as 6 new Deals Announce (ASPL, LACQ, THCB, FST, KSMT, SAII)
February 1, 2021

Today brought about another manic Merger Monday for SPACs as 6 new deals announced. Today’s deals are continuations of many themes that are percolating in SPAC land:

  • The so-called “Experience” economy: Aspirational to merge with Wheels Up. This follow’s last year’s announced EXPC / Blade Mobility deal, also in the private aviation space.
  • What mandates? We’re seeing more and more companies pivot sectors either 1) because they simply need to, as deal deadlines approach or 2) perhaps a sweeter deal came along in a different industry. Take today:
    • “Leisure Acquisition Corp” picks Ensysce Biosciences, after failing to merge with a Gaming/Hospitality Company (merger with Gateway Casinos was squashed in July)
    • The aptly tickered “THCB”, Tuscan Holdings, was due to pick a cannabis company, but instead opted for EV battery maker Microvast, in the hottest sector for SPACs
  • SPAC repeat offenders. Fast Acquisition agrees to take Fertitta Entertainment Public. Tillman Fertitta, to his own credit recently took GNOG public thru Landcadia 2
    • Fertitta will retain 60% ownership of Fertitta Entertainment and continue to run the company

Take a look at each deal announced today here:

Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp. (ASPL) announced it will merge with Wheels Up, a private aviation company. The deal values Wheels at $2.1b (EV) and includes a $550mm PIPE, with commitments from T. Rowe Price and Fidelity among others. ASPL shares are up 5.4% upon closing.

Leisure Acquisition Corp (LACQ) announced it will merge with Ensysce Biosciences, a company which seeks to create non-addictive painkillers. The deal values Ensysce at $207mm (EV). LACQ shares are up 92.9% upon closing.

  • Notably Leisure Acquisition Corp (which IPO’ed in 2017) was, unsurprisingly, initially interested in finding a target in the gaming / hospitality sectors. Obviously a big pivot here as there were against the clock to find a deal and shifted to bioscience
  • Trust is just ~$13M down from a $200M IPO
  • They had previously planned to merge with Gateway Casinos in a $1B deal, which was nixed in July

Tuscan Holdings Corp. (THCB) announced it will merge with Microvast, an EV-focused battery company. The deal values Microvast at $3b (EV) and includes a $540mm PIPE. Investors were impressed, with THCB shares up 56.5% upon closing.

FAST Acquisition Corp. (FST) announced it will merge with Fertitta Entertainment, a holding company that includes Golden Nugget casinos and multiple restaurant chains. The deal values Fertitta at $6.6b (EV) and includes $1.2b in PIPE. FST shares are up 4.8% upon closing. Tilman Fertitta, also an of the Houston Rockets NBA franchise, will serve as President, Chairman, and CEO of the company and will retain 60% ownership in the country.

Kismet Acquisition One Corp (KSMT) announced it will merge with Nexters Global, a mobile gaming developer. The deal values Nexters at $1.9b (EV), and includes $30mm in PIPE. KSMT shares are down 1.4% upon closing.

“We are incredibly excited about the future of gaming and thrilled to have experienced partners such as Kismet Capital Group by our side.”

Andrey Fadeev, Co-Founder and CEO of Nexters

Software Acquisition Group Inc. II (SAII) announced it will merge with Otonomo, a vehicle data provider. The deal values Otonomo at $1.1b (EV) and includes $172.5mm in PIPE led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, BNP Paribas Asset Management Energy Transition Fund, and Senvest Management. SAII shares are up 6% upon closing.

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