Digital Virgo, a French mobile payment services company, is going public through a merger with a blank-check company founded by prominent sports executives including basketball great Michael Jordan’s former agent.
The company has agreed to a combination with Goal Acquisitions Corp. in a deal that would value it at $513 million including debt, the companies said in a statement, confirming a Bloomberg News report. The transaction is expected to provide Digital Virgo with at least $100 million in growth capital to expand in North America and elsewhere.
“After years of steady growth and profitability, now is the time for us to go public and pursue more rapid growth by satisfying customer demand for a one destination platform that fulfills their content, commerce, and financial needs, Digital Virgo CEO Guillaume Briche said in a statement. “It’s also the right moment to bring our offerings to the U.S. market.”
Mergers with SPACs, after reaching a record of 250 deals totaling more than $113 billion last year, have fallen from favor after the disappointing trading performances by many of those companies. About $24 billion worth of these deals have been announced so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Goal Acquisitions raised $259 million in an initial public offering last year with the intention of merging with a sports- or media-related company. Its chief executive officer is Harvey Schiller, a former executive with the New York Yankees and New Jersey Devils, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Schiller is also a board member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and World Baseball Classic.
Its management team also includes David Falk, who has 40 years of experience as a National Basketball Association agent. Falk has represented stars such as Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing. Veteran media executive and Internet investor Jon Miller was listed as chairman of the company’s advisory board. Sports executive Donna Orender is also on the board.
“I’ve always had an interest in working with cutting-edge technologies, creating innovative ways for people to connect and communicate,” Orender said in a statement. “This idea of convergence as a way to simplify and amplify our lives in positive ways is really exciting right now.”
Digital Virgo, based in Lyon, France, allows users to pay for online subscriptions as part of their phone bills through the carriers, according to its website. Through acquisitions and organic expansion, the company operates in Africa, Europe, South America and the Middle East. The company also has content packages in different territories including sports and games.
JMP Securities advised Goal Acquisition in the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.