United Talent Agency has priced the initial public offering of its new special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, at $230 million with the goal of creating a new company focused on gaming, digital media and creator economy jobs.
Led by former Nintendo Co. Ltd. President Reggie Fils-Aimé, the SPAC, known as UTA Acquisition Corp., began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “UTAAU” Dec. 2. Fils-Aimé will serve as chairman alongside co-CEOs Clinton Foy and Jamie Sharp. Foy is a general partner of venture capital at UTA, and Sharp is a former Google executive.
Fils-Aimé was president and chief operating officer for Nintendo from 2006 to 2019, and he is credited with revamping the gaming company’s image in North America by successfully adapting its strategies to the ongoing challenges of marketing to youth while continuing to address older video game players. He’s also a founder and managing partner of consulting firm Brentwood Growth Partners and a director at Spin Master Inc. and Brunswick Corp.
Foy previously worked with the $300 million Santa Monica-based venture capital fund Crosscut Ventures, which focused on consumer technology, new platforms, streaming and gaming. He also co-founded gaming and esports organization Immortals, which does business as Immortals Gaming Club.
UTA Acquisition has assembled some significant names for the SPAC’s board, including former CBS Entertainment and Microsoft Corp. executive Nancy Tellem, Reddit Inc. co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and Beachbody Co. Inc. Chief Strategy Officer and former Legendary Entertainment exec Kathy Vrabeck.
Ophir Lupu, UTA’s head of video games, will be president of the SPAC and may play a larger role in the acquired companies as he leverages the strength of the agency’s in-house gaming team. Lupu, an 18-year veteran of the gaming representation space who has represented professional game developers, esports athletes and content creators, will corral UTA Acquisition’s board to merge gaming, game culture and commerce with the new venture.
According to the company’s S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it hopes to use the expertise of its sponsors, which include affiliates of UTA as well as London financial advisory and merchant banking firm Connaught Ltd., to find a suitable merger partner.
“We intend to capitalize on the ability of our management team to identify, acquire and manage a business that can benefit from the unique operational, financial and investing acumen that members of our sponsor and management team have, particularly in gaming, but also across related areas within the broader digital media, creator economy, entertainment and technology landscape,” the S-1 filing reads.
Since 2017, Connaught has been involved in several large SPAC-related transactions. To date, it has been part of SPACs totaling approximately $5 billion in upfront capital raised and completed de-SPAC transactions valued at approximately $24 billion, with a further approximately $3 billion committed through concurrent private investment in public equity, or PIPE, investments.
Shares of the UTA SPAC are being sold at $10 each with 20 million planned for the IPO, which officially closed on Dec. 6. The …….