Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal recently joined forces with past Walt Disney Co. executives and Martin Luther King III to start a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The new company, Forest Road Acquisition Corp., has raised $250 million to do deals in the technology, media and telecommunications industries.
SPAC’s have no business operations and exist primarily to raise money to buy an existing company that then takes over their stock listing.
Also called “blank-check companies,” these entities raise money through an initial public offering with the intention of merging with a private firm and taking the combined entity public. Investors are usually unsure of what the companies will be targeted.
“We believe that our team’s experience in building and executing strategies that combine capabilities and expertise in consumer preferences and technology/product development will differentiate our ability to source a successful partner,” the company said in its In its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.
O’Neal will serve as a strategic advisor, with the filing stating, “Mr. O’Neal has a keen eye for investing in successful ventures.”
Also included in the list of executives and advisors is former TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, former Walt Disney CFO Tom Staggs and civil rights activist and son of Martin Luther King Jr., King III, who will serve as a director.
Potential acquisitions may include “audience aggregation platforms,” or streaming services. The company is also interested in the area of “premium intellectual property.”
Forest Road said it believes the group it has assembled “will be able to source superior … investment opportunities through an extensive network including private equity, venture capital, growth equity, asset managers, investment banks, and leading global corporations. Additionally, we believe they have the operational expertise to drive efficiencies at a target company following a business combination, and given their extensive experience with public market investors, are well-positioned to develop a thoughtful investor relations strategy.”