Thesis: I was hesitant to post this idea as it feels a little intellectually dishonest. But where else do you get a free look at a potential game changing acquisition with zero risk of losing capital.
We all see the weekly polls on VIC. Everyone is struggling to find stocks trading at reasonable valuations. RBAC (like other SPACs) are a unique way to enter into asymmetric trades. At this price it’s “heads I win, tails I don’t lose.”
Background: For a background on SPACs, the structure and payoff etc pls read unlimiteddownside July 8, 2020 write-up “Pre-Deal Tech SPACs.”
RBAC came public on August 13th and is still trading as a unit (1 sh + 1/3 wt). They raised $575m including the over-allotment option, and the sponsors have backstopped a $100m PIPE at $10/sh on future deal announcement.
RBAC is sponsored by RedBird Capital. RedBird is a $4.0bn PE firm focusing on Sports & Media, and they have done 22 deals since 2014.
The co-chairman of RBAC is Billy Beane. Yes, that Billy Beane, aka MoneyBall.
RBAC’s focus will be on firms in the sports, media and data analytics sectors. However, I think the actual focus is much narrower. On the IPO roadshow Billy Beane stated that RBAC would like to purchase a sports franchise. His preference is a European soccer team, but the list of targets also includes NBA teams.
As unlimiteddownside outlined in his write-up, owning a SPAC lets you get an almost riskless look at what may be the next retail mania. RBAC is trading around issue price, meaning the downside is actually still a positive return via cash-in-trust redemption.
The thesis on RBAC is simple: can you imagine how RobinHooders and the retail crowd would react if the headline hits that RBAC is buying a sports team. It doesn’t take much imagination to see Dave Portnoy (yes, it’s come to me pitching DDTG trade ideas) picking up on the idea when the team is announced either.
Of course, sports franchises also have a lot of inherent value if management properly (media, merchandising etc) and there are a handful of plublic ways to invest in sports (MANU LN, MSGS, LBRTY/F1). Billy Beane turned a struggling franchise into a valuable asset in the past. Who's to say lightning can't strike twice?
I do not hold a position with the issuer such as employment, directorship, or consultancy. I and/or others I advise hold a material investment in the issuer's securities.