Las Vegas-Based SPAC Tekkorp Goes Public on Nasdaq

Las Vegas-Based SPAC Tekkorp Goes Public on Nasdaq
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Tekkorp Digital Acquisition Co., a so-called “blank check company” with its eye on digital gaming and related businesses, began life Thursday as a publicly traded company.

The more formal name for companies such as Tekkorp is Special Purchase Acquisition Company, or SPAC for short, and while they frequently have no product or services themselves, their practice is generally to seek privately-held firms so they can form a combination through merger or acquisition.

To accomplish that objective, a SPAC needs to be armed with considerable capital. Another SPAC with gaming interests, Acies Acquisition Corp., has filed with the SEC to register and go public.

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In a subsequent news release, Tekkorp announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 25 million units at $10 per unit. The units are listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market (“Nasdaq”) under the ticker symbol (TEKKU). By early afternoon of its opening day, Tekkorp was trading in a range of $9.93.

According to the news release, “Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share. Only whole warrants are exercisable. Once the securities comprising the units commence separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and redeemable warrants are expected to be respectively listed on Nasdaq under the symbols (TEKK) and (TEKKW). The offering is expected to close on Oct. 26, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.”

The company has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 3.75 million units to cover over-allotments, if any, at the initial public offering price.

Tekkorp filed for registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in late August and filed an amended form in September.

Gaming Executives on Board

Noteworthy are some of the executives associated with the Las Vegas-based SPAC. Two prominent names on Tekkorp’s board of directors are Morris Bailey, the board chairman, and Tony Rodio, a board member.

Bailey owns Resorts Casino & Hotel in Atlantic City and helped elevate that once trailing property through partnerships with Mohegan Sun, Poker Stars and DraftKings. Resorts opened a sportsbook in August 2018. It was the first New Jersey casino to have both online and in-person betting options.

Rodio was recently briefly the CEO of Caesars Entertainment (he had been CEO of Affinity Gaming) until Caesars was more completely folded into Eldorado Resorts (but retained the Caesars label) with new CEO Tom Reeg. Rodio is perhaps best known for his work in Atlantic City, where he worked at several gaming resorts but was CEO and president of the Tropicana that saw marked capital improvements on his watch.

Tekkorp’s chief executive officer is Matthew Davey, who most recently was CEO of SG Digital, the digital division of Scientific Games Corp. Davey has overseen more than 10 mergers and acquisitions and more than $1.2 billion in debt and equity capital raised to support the companies he headed, according to an earlier SEC filing. The Tekkorp president is Robin Chhabra.

Tekkorp Looking to Buy

It intends to focus on businesses “in the broader digital media, sports, entertainment, leisure and/or gaming industries,” Tekkorp said in its recent news release. It was seeking to raise $300 million (more if the underwriters’ over-allotment option is exercised) with targeted businesses identified having “an enterprise valuation between $1 billion and $2 billion," the previous filing said.

The most notable digital gaming/sports wagering SPAC to date has been the combination of SPAC Golden Diamond Acquisition Corp., and the previously private DraftKings, the daily fantasy and sports wagering company. That marriage created the now publicly held DraftKings Inc. (DKNG), which is traded on the Nasdaq.

Another SPAC on the Way

Acies Acquisition Corp., whose founders include Jim Murren, former chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, is seeking an initial public offering of $200 million, according to its recent SEC filing.

In the filing the company says it is "focused on identifying a business combination target within the live, location-based and mobile experiential entertainment industries. Specific sectors that we will target span live events, family entertainment, casino gaming, destination hospitality, sports, sports betting and iGaming, and social and casual mobile games."

Acies could list on Nasdaq under the symbol “ACACU" in December based on the timing of its SEC filing.

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