The “Blank Check” bonanza continues.
On Thursday, a new Special Purpose Acquisition Company called Forest Road Acquisition Corp. filed an S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to raise $250 million from investors to acquire or merge with a company in the technology, media or telecommunications sectors.
The most notable news for Hollywood, however, is who is behind the SPAC: Former Walt Disney Co. COO Tom Staggs, Disney’s former direct-to-consumer chief Kevin Mayer, and former Disney executive vp Salil Mehta. They are joined by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, film and TV producer Mark Burg (Saw, Two and a Half Men), former Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel, Martin Luther King III and executives Teresa Miles Walsh and Sheila Stamps.
Finance executive Keith Horn will be CEO of the SPAC with Zachary Tarica serving as chief investment adviser and Idan Shani serving as COO.
Staggs will be a director and chair of the company’s strategic advisory committee, Mehta will be CFO, while Mayer, O’Neal and Burg will be strategic advisers. Stamps, Miles Walsh, Schlessel and King will serve on the SPAC’s board of directors.
Forest Road Acquisition is one of many new SPACs targeting the media, entertainment and technology space. As investors pour billions of dollars into these blank check firms, the question remains as to whether there are enough attractive private companies to take public through the SPAC process.
In this case, the extensive entertainment background of the SPAC’s sponsors suggest that they believe they can identify a company in the space that could make for a strong fit.
“We believe that media and entertainment is undergoing rapid and aggressive technology-induced change, resulting in new monetization opportunities and secular growth as opportunities to reach consumers expand, new entrants seek to gain market share, and the ‘old guard’ adapts to the evolving needs of today’s consumers,” Forest Road Acquisition writes in its S-1. “We believe that our team’s experience in building and executing strategies that combine capabilities and expertise in consumer preferences and technology/product development will differentiate our ability to source a successful partner.”