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Isles Owner Ledecky, Cosmo Editor Coles Have $250 Million To Spend in SPAC IPO

The New York Islanders owner and former Cosmo editor come together on a SPAC.
(PippiLongstocking)
(PippiLongstocking)
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“A seemingly unlikely pairing of a hockey fanatic and a women’s magazine editor has just raised $250 million,” Sportico writes.

The Details: Northern Star Acquisition Corp. closed its IPO last night after raising $250 million. The SPAC will begin trading on the NYSE as STIC.U and is seeking to buy a venture in “the beauty, wellness, self-care, fashion, e-commerce, subscription and digital-media space.”

  • Northern Star initially filed to raise $300 million, but it’s not uncommon for a SPAC to reduce its fundraising between filing and executing its IPO.

Well, who’s running the show? Joanna Coles and Jon Ledecky.

Joanna Coles, CEO and Chairperson:

  • Coles led the content efforts at Hearst, an $11 billion in annual sales media business, but left after being passed over for the top publisher’s spot two years ago.
  • She gained “widespread notice for moving women’s magazine Cosmopolitan into more substantive editorial topics, including women’s issues and politics, while she was its editor.”

Jon Ledecky, President and COO:

  • Ledecky became co-owner of the New York Islanders in 2016. He bought the club with his childhood best friend and Harvard roommate, Scott Malkin.
  • He’s a long-time private equity investor who has “brought more than $20 billion of deals to fruition, including the launch of Mail Boxes Etc., now part of UPS.”
  • Another one of his SPACs, Pivotal Investment II, is pending a merger with truck electrification firm XL Fleet.

Year of the SPAC: Also known as blank-check companies, SPACs have boomed this year. Data from SPACInsider.com shows a record 174 SPACs have IPO’d in 2020, raising gross proceeds of more than $63.6 billion.

  • Nearly 30 SPACs somehow related to the business of sports or its leaders have been formed, according to Sportico. The collection of blank-check companies has raised more than $14 billion in capital Northern Star included.

Justin Oh:

We’ll continue to monitor for high-profile SPACs that might be attractive. We’ll see if they can actually find attractive acquisitions or if this is just a “new” hot way to raise cheap capital without actually having an attractive secular opportunity.

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