A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by a host of leading igaming and social media executives, begins trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market today (22 October), as it hunts for major M&A opportunities.
Tekkorp Digital Acquisition Corporation will make its Nasdaq debut after an initial public offering that saw it offer 25m units – comprising one Class A share and half a redeemable warrant – priced at $10 apiece.
Each warrant allows the holder to purchase a Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share, with only full warrants – ie, two units – eligible for conversion into shares.
More specifically, it will look for potential acquisition opportunities, specifically targeting deals for private businesses in the digital media, sports, entertainment, leisure and gaming industries with an enterprise value of between $1bn and $2bn.
“We believe the digital media, sports, entertainment, leisure and gaming industries possess attractive opportunities given the secular consumer shift from physical/analog products to digital/online offerings and the industries’ existing consumer demand,” Tekkorp explained in an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.
It explains that by targeting businesses of this scale, in order to ensure long-term returns to shareholders, and with “proven and accomplished” management teams. This, the SEC filling noted, could be supported by bolt-on acquisitions further down the line.
The business is led by NYX Gaming Group founder Matt Davey, who serves as its chief executive. alongside former William Hill and Stars Group executive Robin Chhabra as president. The core management team is rounded out by chief financial officer Eric Matejevich, a veteran of NYX and Atlantic City properties Ocean Casino Resort and Resorts International.
Its board will be led by Morris Bailey, an entrepreneur credited with helping return Atlantic City to prosperity. As owner of Resorts, he was also something of a pioneer for online betting and gaming, having signed market access deals with The Stars Group and DraftKings for New Jersey.
Tekkorp has also nominated a number of high-profile directors, including Tony Rodio, a respected gaming executive and chief executive of Caesars Entertainment Corporation until its merger with Eldorado Resorts.
Joining Rodio as a board nominee is Sean Ryan, Facebook’s vice president of business platform partnerships. In his previous role, as the social giant’s director of games partnerships, he led its experiments in real-money gaming, which saw a number of operators launch casino games on its platform.
Also nominated to the board is Marlon Goldstein, formerly legal chief for Stars, who was involved in a series of major transactions, including the acquisitions of Full Tilt Poker, CrownBet, William Hill Australia, Sky Betting and Gaming and the Fox Sports joint venture. He left the operator following its acquisition by Flutter Entertainment, on which he also played a key role.
Finally, Tom Roche is also up for election to the board. Roche has more than 40 years’ experience as a gambling regulator, advisor and independent auditor, and has been involved in a number of significant industry deals.
He was the lead partner on Wynn Resorts’ 2020 IPO, and regulatory advice related to the acquisition of Harrah’s Entertainment’s (now part of Caesars Entertainment) private equity buyout by Apollo Management Group and Texas Pacific Group.
Roche also advised the American Gaming Association on a number of projects, including some related to sports betting, the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and money laundering.
Jeffries is acting as sole book-running manager for the Nasdaq listing, with Macquarie Capital serving as co-manager. The underwriters will also have a 45-day option to purchase an additional 3.75m units to cover any over-allotments.