Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz billionaire get behind SeatGeek



(Bloomberg) – Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Qualtrics International Inc. co-founder Ryan Smith, billionaire majority owner of Utah Jazz, are among investors supporting ticketing platform SeatGeek’s merger with blank checks RedBall Acquisition Corp.

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Thirty Five Ventures and Durant’s Smith have agreed to invest in the deal alongside institutional investors, including venture capital firm Accel, an existing backer to SeatGeek, according to a statement released Wednesday, confirming an earlier report. from Bloomberg. The transaction, which includes a $ 100 million private investment in public stocks, or PIPE, gives the combined entity an enterprise value of approximately $ 1.35 billion.

SeatGeek, led by CEO Jack Groetzinger, has partners including the Dallas Cowboys, Brooklyn Nets and Manchester City FC, as well as theaters on Broadway in New York City and in London’s West End, its website shows. The company counts venture capital firm TCV, rapper Nas, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning and Carmelo Anthony’s Melo7 Tech Partners among its investors. Existing shareholders are expected to own 63.5% of the company.

RedBall raised $ 575 million in an initial public offering in August 2020. The ad hoc acquisition company is led by CEO Alec Scheiner, as well as co-chairs Gerry Cardinale, founder of RedBird Capital Partners; and Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics, who was played by Brad Pitt in the movie “Moneyball”. With the PIPE of $ 100 million, the combined company is expected to raise $ 675 million in gross proceeds.

Vivid Seats, a rival to SeatGeek, agreed in April to merge with Horizon Acquisition Corp., a SPAC run by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly.

SeatGeek isn’t the only company backed by Eli and Peyton Manning pursuing a PSPC merger. BBQGuys, an e-commerce platform for grills and related products, agreed to go public this year through an agreement with Velocity Acquisition Corp.

(Updates with the statement starting in the second paragraph.)

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