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James Murdoch is getting in on the SPAC frenzy that has taken over Wall Street over the past year.
Murdoch is the co-chairman of Seven Island Inc., a special purpose acquisition company seeking to raise $345 million from investors in an IPO. Murdoch’s partner in the venture is Uday Shankar, the former CEO of STAR India and chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s India businesses.
Seven Islands will specifically target businesses in southeast and South Asia, according to its prospectus, with Shankar and Murdoch leveraging their contacts in the region and experience in the media and telecom sector to find potential merger partners.
“Whilst we are focusing our search for a business combination target across a range of industries, we foresee several growth drivers and market dynamics that are common across our core sectors of interest, including rapid expansion in mobile data affordability, widespread internet connectivity, and disruptive digitization,” they write in the prospectus.
Other members of the seven Islands executive team include partners at Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, and Lupa Systems’ India operation, with National Geographic chairman Gary Knell set to serve as a director.
In January, Murdoch and Shankar unveiled plans for an untitled venture exploring emerging markets in the Indo-Pacific region. “As connectivity continues to accelerate and expand across South Asia and the whole region, new opportunities for innovation, across consumer sectors, will multiply,” Murdoch stated at the time.
While the number of new SPACs has slowed in recent weeks, the past year has seen a massive influx of SPAC IPOs, as investors and companies look to raise cash and take private firms public. It has been an appealing business for top executives and celebrities as well, looking to leverage their fame and connections into deals that could be worth millions if they are successful.
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