Browse articles by topic

Ex-MGM CEO Murren targets gaming industry with second SPAC


Former MGM Resorts chief executive Jim Murren has launched a second special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Acies Acquisition II, with plans to acquire a gaming business.

The SPAC, which aims to raise $250m in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange, has not selected a specific business combination target.

However, it said it was hoping to purchase a business in the field of casino gaming, sports betting, igaming, live events, family entertainment destination hospitality or sports.

Jim Murren

It added that its management team was “well-positioned to partner with a management team to develop, analyze and execute on the next wave of growth and consolidation” within the gaming industry.

Acies may look to acquire a consumer-facing brand or a business-to-business platform, and while it said it would primarily focus on the US, it added that its search may expand to other markets.

It added that it was looking for a business with a “highly defensible” and “disruptive” business model within a fundamentally strong sector

Murren (pictured) – who stepped down from MGM just over one year ago – co-founded the SPAC alongside former Morgan Stanley executives Edward King and Dan Fetters. King is a former managing director and global head of investment banking at Morgan Stanley, while Fetters was previously managing director in the bank’s mergers and acquisitions division.

Chris Grove – a partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming – will be Acies II’s executive vice president of acquisitions. 

Murren previously founded the initial Acies Acquisition Corp, which is set to combine with social casino developer Playstudios in a $1.1bn deal.

Acies II’s board will include Zachary Leonsis, senior vice president of strategic initiatives for Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics owners Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Princess Grace Foundation and Broadway play investor Brisa Trinchero, Boston Red Sox chief executive Sam Kennedy and Andrew Zobler, who founded hotel chain the Sydell Group.

Curtis Polk, managing partner of NBA franchise the Charlotte Hornets, will serve as an advisor, as will Todd Dagres, who founded fitness company Liteboxer Technology.

The SPAC will undergo an initial public offering with plans to raise $250m, with the potential to raise as much as $287.5m if the IPO is over-allotted.

The IPO will comprise the sale of 25m units at $10 apiece. Each unit is made up of one ordinary share and one quarter of a warrant to purchase a share for $11.50.