One Championship, a mixed martial arts (MMA) sports media company from Singapore, is actively seeking to go public in the US via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Bloomberg reports.
Preparing for Public Listing
According to unnamed sources familiar with the matter, One Championship has already contacted Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to inquire about their services with regards to preparations for a potential listing.
In addition, the Asian sports media company has held preliminary talks with several unnamed SPACs regarding a potential merger, the media reports, noting names of the potential merger partners were omitted due to the private matter of the deliberations.
One Championship has been mainly doing business via staging events in Asia and was forced to place its plans for a US debut on the backburner due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent related developments.
The sports media company entered into a partnership with US broadcaster Turner Sports, partner to the big boys in US daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting DraftKings and FanDuel, to create and present to American audience a new digital series of sporting events starting from April 2021.
Backed by Singapore State Capital
According to official information on its website, One Championship organizes martial arts and combat sport events including kickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and karate and broadcasts them to more than 150 countries in the world.
The company is financially backed by investor names such as Sequoia Capital and Singapore state firms GIC and Temasek Holdings.
The rival to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) could well decide to go public via an initial public offering (IPO) or private financing, looking for a valuation of at least $1 billion, a valuation people running the firm repeatedly stated in the past.
One Championship, which had its business model’s sustainability being questioned multiple times by MMA industry analysts and commentators, posted in 2019 $99 million in losses, a sharp rise of 60% compared to the result in the prior year.
SPACs are blank check publicly-traded companies created with the purpose to acquire other businesses, and should the Asian media firm decide to go public with a SPAC-type transaction, it would possibly become the most prominent sports property to do so.
According to the report, discussions are at a preliminary stage and it is not clear what path the sports media company will select to go public.