Horizon Acquisition Corp. II, a blank-check company started by billionaire Todd Boehly — one of the new owners of Chelsea Football Club — has agreed to merge with Flexjet.

Flexjet, which offers a subscription-based private jet service, and the special purpose acquisition company will have a combined valuation of about $3.1 billion, including debt, according to a statement, confirming a Bloomberg News report.

Flexjet focuses on fractional ownership, allowing customers to own and lease part of a jet. Led by chairman Kenn Ricci, the company’s other offerings include full aircraft ownership and on-demand chartering, as well as an hourly prepaid program, according to its website. It also operates corporate jets and helicopters for airport transfers.

The deal will give Flexjet the capital to expand its market share at an accelerated pace, according to Ricci. Its services boomed during the pandemic, he said in an interview.

“What we encountered during Covid was this whole group of the frugal wealth — people that for whatever reason wouldn’t spend money on the extravagance of a private jet. Maybe they didn’t want their employees to know they were spending money, maybe they didn’t want their kids to be spoiled, when it became time to travel safely or not travel at all or to not see their grandkids, they chose to go private,” said Ricci said. “Once the cat’s out of the bag, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”

The company is projecting $2.3 billion of revenue in 2023.

Serial Dealmaker

Boehly, an ex-Guggenheim Partners executive who co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, is among several high-profile financiers to start a SPAC during the blank-check company boom. The market has stalled this year, spurring other well-known SPAC backers including Chamath Palihapitiya and Bill Foley to shut down their vehicles and return capital to investors as deadlines for finding deals approach.

Horizon Acquisition II, which counts Boehly as chief executive officer and chief financial officer, raised $500 million in a 2020 initial public offering. The SPAC is sponsored by an affiliate of Eldridge Industries, Boehly’s Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm, which is backstopping this deal with a $300 million equity commitment, according to the statement.

The SPAC weighed a combination last year with Swiss gambling-data company Sportradar AG before those talks fell apart, Bloomberg News reported. Sportradar later pivoted to a traditional IPO.

Boehly led a group that acquired Chelsea Football Club in May for about £4.25 billion ($4.7 billion) from sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. A serial dealmaker, Boehly also sold credit manager CBAM Partners to Carlyle Group Inc. this year while announcing plans to start a new CLO firm.

Boehly has been a minority shareholder in Flexjet for eight years, according to Ricci.

“Todd loves to invest in things that people elect to do,” Ricci said. “And of course people want to fly private, people want to go to soccer games. So we align perfectly on that.”

The deal is slated to close in the second quarter of 2023. Flexjet is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FXJ.