Documentary-focused subscription streaming service CuriosityStream is set to go public.
The SVOD company, created in 2015 by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks and now boasting about 13 million subscribers across 175 countries, is set to merge with “special purpose acquisition company” Software Acquisition Group, which already raised about $150 million with an IPO on the Nasdaq in November.
Hendricks is a virtuoso builder of media businesses. And he has showcased it once again, elegantly, with this deal.
A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company with no commercial operations that is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company, per Investopedia.
So, in practical effect, CuriosityStream is being acquired for $331 million by a company that’s already public, and which makes nothing. The merged company, which will be branded as CuriosityStream, will have an equity value of around $512 million. It’ll have $180 million in cash on hand, and no debt, according to a statement released by the two parties.
CuriosityStream’s existing investors, Hendricks, Blum Capital Ventures and TimesSquare Capital Management, will contribute all of their equity into the combined company
Hendricks will remain chairman of the board. Clint Stinchcomb will remain president and CEO. The company will trade as “CURI” on the Nasdaq.
The deal is detailed in the statement.
“CuriosityStream has the unique advantage of being a ‘pure play’ streaming media service that is not burdened with legacy linear TV assets in cable and broadcasting,” said Hendricks, founder and chairman of CuriosityStream. “We are excited to now have access to the public capital markets to support our growth plans and to over-deliver on our mission to provide content that informs, enchants and inspires.”
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