Dodgers Co-Owner Boehly Sponsoring New Sports Real Estate SPAC

Brendan Coffey
·3 min read

Fresh from inking an agreement to bring Sportradar public through his Horizon II special purpose acquisition company, Todd Boehly is sponsoring a new SPAC named Cain Acquisition to search out “experiential hospitality, location-based entertainment and real estate,” possibly including sports venues, according to its prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Cain seeks to raise $250 million in an IPO and acquire a business that fits into the blank check’s investment themes of wellness and experience. “In daily life, sports, local excursions or leisure travel, customers are seeking unique experiences that allow them to remain connected to family, friends and colleagues, even while not in their physical presence,” the business says in the filing. Cain also expects to find opportunities from real estate properties that are in distress due to the economic effects of the pandemic.

Boehly, who is a minority owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and has stakes in about a dozen other sports-related businesses through his conglomerate Eldridge Industries, isn’t an executive in the SPAC. Instead, he is the controlling owner of Cain International, an Eldridge subsidiary that is the sponsor of the new SPAC. SPAC sponsors spend the money needed to fund the SPAC’s filing and underwriting costs—roughly 3% of the IPO amount they’re seeking. In return, sponsors typically receive large amounts of inexpensive warrants that result in significant investment gains if a SPAC successfully acquires a target company. Based upon information contained in the filing, Cain International is partly owned by its CEO Jonathan Goldstein.

Goldstein is the chairman, CEO and chief financial officer of the Cain SPAC. A long-time real estate executive, Goldstein founded Cain in 2014 and has since directed $6 billion in investments in property deals, including into The St. James, a sports and recreation facility in Fairfax, Va., that includes a fieldhouse for football, soccer and lacrosse, as well as ice rinks, basketball courts, a pool and other athletic facilities.

Other notable executives in the blank check business include former Walt Disney veteran Nick Franklin, who is co-founder and president of the Cain SPAC. In an 18-year career at Disney, Franklin is credited with creation of the ESPNZone restaurants, launching Disneyland Shanghai and the Adventures by Disney tour business, among other efforts.

The board of directors includes sports executive Sophie Goldschmidt, who was CEO of the World Surf League from 2017 to 2020. Under her watch the league announced it would award equal prize money to male and female surfers, still a move believed to be unique among sports leagues. She’s now an adviser to the WSL. Goldschmidt also held positions at the World Rugby Union, PGA European Tour and was a managing director at the NBA.

Through bookrunner Credit Suisse, Cain seeks to sell 25 million units at $10 a piece in the IPO, consisting of one share and one-third of a warrant, exercisable for an additional share at $11.50. Like all SPACs, Cain has a limited time to find a target—24 months in this case—or it will need to return the IPO funds back to shareholders.

Boehly is a sponsor and executive in two current SPACs. His Horizon Acquisition II SPAC has an agreement to bring data giant Sportradar public in a deal valuing the business at $10 billion. Another SPAC, Horizon I, remains on the market for a financial services target, having raised $544 million in an IPO in August. A third Horizon SPAC was registered with the SEC in November but has yet to make any public filings. The Cain SPAC is one of more than 100 active SPACs that are either seeking a sports-related target or involve a sports executive, according to data compiled by Sportico.

An email to a Cain spokesperson seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

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