There was some potentially interesting news in the SPAC world this week.
Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez's SPAC,Slam Corp. (SLAM) , is reportedly making a play to merge with Italy's Panini SPA, a name that may be familiar to sports cards enthusiasts for its cards and stickers. SLAM has moved little since its February debut, but this is why you buy a SPAC, to see a deal get done, and hope it's done at a solid valuation. But while hope springs eternal, deals don't always materialize.
I'm still waiting on RedBall Acquisition Corp. (RBAC) (RBACU) to do something. The name came public with a lot of fanfare last October, primarily because of Oakland Athletics Billy Beane's involvement as co-chairman of the company, as well as speculation about a potential deal at the time. Beane, now vice-president of baseball operations, and part owner of the A's, was prominently featured in Moneyball.
The deal scuttlebutt around the time of RBAC's debut was that it was in talks to merge with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry's Fenway Sports Group LLC, which would reportedly have given RBAC a 25% stake. In January, however, discussions on this deal reportedly ended because RBAC could not raise enough additional cash.
RBAC has done little performance wise, for obvious reasons -- in its simplest form, it's just a pile of cash waiting for the right deal. But even hype over the Red Sox deal never had much of an effect. The shares briefly traded in the mid-$12 range intraday in January, but have been in a very tight range, between $9.75 and $10.13 since late March.
SPAC ownership can be downright boring (and this from a value investor who sometimes waits many years for a story to play out). But as much as I want Beane and Co. to get a deal done, as a shareholder, I don't want them making a bad deal, just for the sake of getting something done.
Then there's Mudrick Capital (MUDS) , which is taking Topps (of trading card and Bazooka bubblegum fame) public soon. Following excitement over the deal, and then over Topp's entry into the NFT business, the shares rose about 80% between early April and early May, hitting $18.78 intraday on May 5. Since then, they have given most of those gains back, and closed Thursday at $11.02.
I am a fan of the Topps deal (I was a disgruntled shareholder back in 2007 when the company was taken private for $385 million), and have used the pullback to increase my MUDS stake. MUDS shareholders will own 28% of Topps.
With the main focus on the sports card and NFT business, Topp's confections business, which generates 35% of revenue (or $198 million in 2020) is often forgotten; a sweetener (pun-intended) of sorts.
Have a nice weekend!