My son and I have an ongoing argument about the movie Moneyball, which is somewhat loosely based on the 2003 Michael Lewis book about General Manager Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland A's. I think the acting is brilliant, and it is one of those films (like The Shawshank Redemption), that I will watch whenever I run across it while channel surfing. My son does not like the inaccuracies of the story, and what's ignored (such as the entire starting pitching staff), as well as the real role of Manager Art Howe, but to each his own.
In any event, Billy Beane has been back in the news in recent months, but not because of his association with the A's, where he is now vice president of baseball operations, and part-owner. He is co-chairman of RedBall Acquisition Corp (RBAC) (RBACU) a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) that went public in August, and intends to invest in sports franchises and other related businesses.
The big news for RBAC back in October was that it was in talks to merge with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry's Fenway Sports Group LLC, which would have reportedly given RBAC a 25% stake. RBAC would have had to raise more cash in order to make this deal, so there were considerable hurdles. But earlier this week it was reported that discussions of a deal had fallen apart. The news did not have the impact on RBAC shares that you might think as the stock fell about 2.5% after the reports surfaced. Shares now trade at about 5% above the $10 issue price. I remain hopeful that RBAC will ultimately find a team to buy into, but time will tell.
I was in a sports-franchise buying frenzy when I bought RBAC and RBACU in October. Those positions have done little. The others I bought at time include Manchester United (MANU) (up 6%), and Liberty Media Braves Group (BATRA) (up 34%).
MANU hit the $17 level in early January, but has since pulled back to $14.59. BATRA, on the other hand it has been rising steadily, and is closing in on pre-pandemic levels. Now, if we could just get major league baseball back this year for a full season, with the ability to sit in the stands, I'd be a happy camper.