There's no joy in Philadelphia this year, at least for Phillies fans, as our team once again failed to make baseball's playoffs. That's old news at this point, but still painful. The Oakland A's didn't make it, either, which I am sure pains A's part-owner, vice president of baseball operation and "Moneyball" subject Billy Beane.
However, Beane has something else going on, namely his involvement in special purpose acquisition company Redball Acquisition Corp. (RBAC) . Beane is co-chairman of the company, which went public last October. While merger talks with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry's Fenway Sports Group LLC stalled in January, there's a new possibility for Redball.
Last Friday, Beane confirmed that Redball was negotiating with online ticket buying/selling company SeatGeek, which was founded in 2009. While the potential Fenway Sports deal was likely too big for Redball and would have required RBAC to raise more capital, a deal for SeatGeek may be more in reach.
When I saw the news of a potential SeatGeek deal break on Friday, courtesy of a trading halt in RBAC, my first thought was that I'd missed the boat here. I took positions in RBAC and RBAC units last October but closed them in late August out of boredom and the belief that it would be tough for the company to make a good deal in this market given elevated valuations. Let's face it, that is one of the downsides of SPACs; there is pressure to get a deal done, and sometimes deals fall through anyway, as in the case of Mudrick Capital's (MUDS) Topps deal that died a painful death in August.
However, I am not very excited by the idea of Redball acquiring SeatGeek. While our resident family ticket buyer prefers StubHub given a larger population of tickets he'd typically buy, he did state that SeatGeek does have some features he likes better than StubHub. Either way, though, I'd hoped that RBAC would acquire part of a sports team franchise and not a more peripheral entity.
The market's reaction to the SeatGeak news, once RBAC started trading again late in the trading day on Friday, was quite interesting; the stock barely moved and closed the day up four cents to $9.87. We'll see whether there's more excitement here on Monday.