MGM’s former CEO launches second special purpose acquisition company

MGM’s former CEO has launched his second special purpose acquisition company targeting the online gambling sector.

The former MGM CEO, Jim Murren, has launched a second special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which is targeting the online gambling sector.

Murren’s new SPAC

The SPAC filed an S-1 with the SEC on Monday and according to the document, Murren will act as chairman of Acies II, while members of the previous SPAC will take up other key positions.

Murren’s SPAC, Acies Acquisition II, aims to raise $250m in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange but has not yet selected a specific businesses combination target. The SPAC has the potential to raise more than $287.5m if its IPO is over-allotted.

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

The new business has its sights set on acquiring a business in the casino gaming, sports betting, igaming, live events, family entertainment destination hospitality or sports sectors.

The SPAC’s filing said: “We will pursue both consumer-facing operators as well as the business-to-business platforms that support them.”

According to the business, the sports betting and online gambling market in the US could become a $40bn industry.

The filing also said: “This growth and technological evolution has created a ready need for public equity capital to fund organic growth initiatives and strategically sound, platform-building M&A. Our team is well positioned to partner with a management team to develop, analyze and execute on this next wave of growth and consolidation.”

Murren stepped down from his position as CEO of MGM over a year ago and co-founded the SPAC alongside the former Morgan Stanley executives Edward King and Dan Fetters

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

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 will sit on the board of Acies II’s

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

Another SPAC target gambling

Murren’s SPAC is the latest special purpose company to target the US sports betting and online gambling market.

DraftKings, Golden Nugget and Rush Street Interactive have all used the same method to go public over the last year.

The latest US gambling business to announce it was going public was Fertitta Entertainment, the parent company of Landry’s, the operator of Golden Nugget. The business is set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange via a merger with Fast Acquisition Corporation, another SPAC.

Rush Street Interactive also went public at the start of the year after the SPAC dMY Technology Group completed its combination with Rush Street Interactive. This allowed the operator to trade its shares on the New York exchange.

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