Los Angeles Business Journal; Monday, March 8, 2021
Veteran investor Harry Sloan has closed a $1.7 billion special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in partnership with fellow serial investors Jeff Sagansky and Eli Baker.
Century City-based Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. is one of the largest SPACs on the market, beating out Sloan’s prior investment vehicles by a wide margin.
According to Sloan, the size of the new SPAC will allow him to target major companies that have largely been out of reach for more standard-sized vehicles.
“The bigger companies like Doordash and Airbnb have gone the IPO route because they were looking to raise very large amounts,” Sloan said in an interview. “This will permit us to prove our thesis that, in some cases, the SPAC is the optimal way to go public even for very large companies.”
Because all capital in a typical SPAC must be brought to bear in a single deal, Soaring Eagle’s size greatly limits its potential range of targets. Sloan was sanguine about the challenge this presents, saying the competitive advantages of such a large SPAC outweigh the complications it entails.
“It does put us in a very small universe of companies that we can approach, but there also won’t be many competitors,” he said. “It’s not easy to do a small deal right now either because you are competing with so many other SPACs.”
Soaring Eagle was originally branded as Spinning Eagle when Sloan and Sagansky filed for the investment vehicle with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The original plan was to take a novel approach in which the SPAC capital could be used for multiple deals, similar to a private equity fund.
That approach appears to have become bogged down in regulatory red tape, causing Spinning Eagle’s managers to shelve it in favor of a more traditional SPAC. Now branded Soaring Eagle, the vehicle will seek a reverse-merger with a single company in line with Sloan’s prior deals.
Soaring Eagle is Sloan and Sagansky’s seventh SPAC. It is 150% larger than the pair’s second-largest vehicle, Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp., which raised $690 million in its public offering last spring. Flying Eagle subsequently merged with mobile esports company Skillz Inc. in December in a $3.5 billion deal.
Sloan and Sagansky’s earlier vehicles include Global Eagle Acquisition Corp., which raised $190 million in a 2011 public offering, and Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp., which raised $325 million in 2013.