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A handful of former top CBS executives — led by former CBS CEO Joe Ianniello and former CBS Interactive chief Marc DeBevoise — are launching a new special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) targeting companies in the media, entertainment and sports sectors.
The SPAC, Argus Capital Corp., is looking to raise $300 million in an IPO which it will use to target a company in need of capital to take public.
“Within these and other sectors, we seek to partner with late-stage growth companies as well as mature companies with the potential to accelerate growth through organic and transaction-driven strategies,” they write in their prospectus, adding that “we also intend to leverage our management team’s considerable industry relationships to seek out potentially mutually beneficial corporate carve-outs from existing conglomerate companies. These transactions would enable the value of potentially non-core assets to be highlighted and allow conglomerates to retain ownership, participate in future value creation and monetize when appropriate.”
In other words, Argus will look to merge with stand-alone companies or perhaps see if there are any subsidiaries within existing media or entertainment companies that could be spun out on their own.
In addition to Ianniello and DeBevoise, other former CBS executives working at Argus include former CBS comms chief Dana McClintock, former CBS corporate communications executive Kelli Raftery, former CBS chief administrative officer Stephen D. Mirante, former CBS executive vp Gautam Ranji, former CBS in-house attorney Maria Corsaro Charon and former CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis.
Director nominees include Comcast Advertising executive Pooja Midha and investment banker Alan Mnuchin (brother of former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin).
While the SPAC market has cooled in recent months after the Securities and Exchange Commission began to take a closer look at how many SPACs and their target companies disclose their financials, the media and entertainment space remains a competitive market for these so-called “blank check” companies.
BuzzFeed announced plans to go public via a SPAC last month, and Vice Media, Bustle Digital Group and Group Nine Media are also pursuing SPAC deals.
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