CuriosityStream’s first day as a public company had its ups and downs, with the stock fluctuating between $10.50 and $12.01 during the trading day, before closing at $11.20 each, a gain of about $1 per share.
CuriosityStream agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company Software Acquisition Group in August in a deal that valued the fact-based programmer at about $331 million. SAG was already trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol “SAQN,” peaking at $10.44 per share. The CuriosityStream deal closed on Oct. 12 and the stock began trading under its new symbol (CURI) on Oct. 15.
With about 13 million customers in 175 countries, CuriosityStream will be the only pure-play publicly traded factual content company, and it has said it would use its new currency to fund growth initiatives. Those include increased marketing efforts and possibly future M&A.
The service also plans to expand its programming library, currently consisting of more than 3,000 titles, including over 900 original shows. The company has said it plans to grow its streaming library to more than 11,000 premium factual titles within five years.
The company continues to be led by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, its chairman and largest shareholder, and CEO Clint Stinchcomb.
At its Oct.15 closing price, CuriosityStream has a market capitalization of about $425 million, according to the NASDAQ website. Share volume on its first day of trading was 450,528 shares.
“Investors will have the unique opportunity to capitalize on a ‘pure-play’ streaming media service that is not burdened with legacy linear TV assets in cable and broadcasting,” Hendricks said in a statement. “With our public debut, CuriosityStream will continue to offer compelling direct-to-consumer offers and innovative distribution models that provide curious viewers around the world with content that informs, enchants and inspires.”
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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