AKIC SPAC – Play Of The Game?

An Introduction to the Sports Ventures Acquisition (NASDAQ: AKIC) Corporation


The SPAC sector is filling with contenders looking to enter every industry. Although the most SPAC-filled sectors extend to tech and healthcare, the potential earnings with the less popular industries should not be forgotten. But has the AKIC SPAC got what it takes?

Below is a great explanation of the sports industry and how it stands to gain from the popularization of SPACs within the sector.

8th January 2021 saw the $230 million IPO of the Sports Ventures Acquisition Corporation. The successful IPO process sold units composing of the standard $10 shares and one-third of a warrant.

The popularization of celebrity-backed SPACs permeates every available financial sector. To see big, famous names have become commonplace. The number of basketball players with SPACs right now?

Good article about other quality Sports SPACs right now!

But the AKIC SPAC differs from the herd on this front. Bringing with it a surprisingly powerful and influential team, awaiting the target announcement.

Let’s see if the Sports Ventures Acquisition Corporation has what it takes to make the cut!

AKIC SPAC Sponsor Analysis & Context

The official sponsor is listed as AKICV LLC. Pretty standard SPAC procedure with the Delaware-based company. However, it is pretty remarkable that the upsized $230 million is backed against a single book runner.

None other than Deutsche Bank Securities has shouldered the entire responsibility of the AKIC SPAC as the sole underwriter. Considering this fact, it is clear to see that the company clearly has a lot of faith invested in it. The ability to network and identify some solid deals come through the exquisite team selection.

Alan Kestenbaum

The Chairman and CEO of the AKIC SPAC. It is clear to see that this venture is his brainchild. An incredible level of experience and successful past dealings trail behind Mr Kestenbaum.

In 2019, Mr Kestenbaum dipped his toes within the Sports sector upon becoming a minority owner and limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons (NFL). This taste of the industry has undoubtedly sparked this venture.

The amount invested for a limited partnership stake was one of the highest ever recorded. One of the largest sports recorded transactions and he ceases to stop. Leading a large investor group for the purchase of the Carolina Panthers.

Prior to his sports-related ventures, Mr Kestenbaum has maintained multiple successful managerial positions across a number of companies both public and private, primarily within the speciality metals industry.

Mr Kestenbaum has extremely relevant experience from the early days of SPACs. Spearheading International Metals Inc in 2006, where he sat as CEO. Successfully acquiring Globe Metallurgical Inc.

In 2014, the company hit a peak market cap of $1.8 Billion, merging in 2016 to form Ferroglobe (NASDAQ: GSM) where he currently sits as Chairman.

Learn a bit more about Alan Kestenbaum


Robert Tilliss

The President and CFO of the AKIC SPAC has over 30 years within the sports advisory and finance community. His spread of reach passes international boundaries.

Currently sitting as CEO of Inner Circle Sports, a sports merchant banking corporation he founded in 2002. But Mr Tilliss has no preferred sport, having dealt with the sale, acquisition and financing of teams in the 5 major U.S professional sports leagues.

Mr Tilliss has also had a direct hand in the league-wide financing facilities for the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB. Also involved with the construction and creation of stadiums having structured the financing of Oracle Park, American Airlines Center and Wembley Stadium.

But Mr Robert Tilliss has certainly shifted with the times. Turning more recently in raising capital for sports technology companies and sports business services. Having evaluated and personally invested in sports ticketing, SaaS and Esports teams (amongst others).

Further reading about Robert Tilliss

Daniel Strauss

Alongside the position of COO of the AKIC SPAC, Mr Strauss also primarily serves as the CEO of GlassBridge Enterprises (OTC: GLAE). However, Mr Strauss also maintains a wide range of sports-related experience.

Sitting as a board member on SportBLX Inc, a sports investment platform from 2019. As well as BrookLAN, one of the largest Esports and Video game venue in New York since 2020.

Before his more recent shift to the Sports sector, Mr Strauss brings an impressive 10-year history within the corporate finance sector. Having undertaken numerous responsibilities and experiences.

Most recently sitting as Portfolio Manager for Clinton from 2010 to 2019. Evaluating companies and undertaking a variety of private equity transactions. Prior to that, sitting as a diversified investment manager at Angelo, Gordon & Co. (2008-2010)

What does Daniel Strauss bring?

Joseph D. Ragan III

A fantastic addition to the AKIC SPAC team. Mr Joseph Ragan is the CFO of the Paper Excellence Holdings Corporation. This internationally recognized corporation provides organizations across the planet with paper.

Previously sitting as CFO of Resideo/Honeywell Homes from 2018 till 2019. This publically traded manufacturing firm aimed at the thermostat and security markets. But from 2013 to 2019, Mr Ragan sat as the CFO of Ferroglobe PLC, this metal alloy manufacturer was where he began his long-lasting business relationship with Mr Alan Kestenbaum (AKIC SPAC Chairman and CEO).

Although his experience and connections within the sporting sector are somewhat limited, his experience with the financial inner workings of a company is truly invaluable.

Is Joseph D. Ragan III a good addition?

Targeted Sector & Market Criteria of the AKIC SPAC

The potential targets according to the criteria outlined in the prospectus are well within the sports sectors:

  • sports
  • media
  • entertainment
  • film & television production

However, the other primary members of upper management have a more software based history with the sports sector and many investors are leaning similarly.

In fact, an early prediction for a likely combination target was rumoured to be Sportsradar. This company delivered sports data to media companies, sports federations and even betting organizations. A phenomenal target, unfortunately, a merger with  Horizon Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: HZON) was recently announced.

Further emphasis was placed on:

  • rising media consumption
  • digital services
  • ever-increasing fan-bases
  • Esports
  • Value of franchises

Regardless of speculation, the IPO generating a $230 million cash injection leads to little doubt in the potential market value and capitalization of any potential targets.

Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself

Post Deal Value

Post Deal Value is certainly a very important aspect of a SPAC. The inclusion and integration of the AKIC SPAC and the selected target is guaranteed to increase post-merger value.

Furthermore, concepts such as brand building and scaling are certainly very fundamental aspects when looking to increase post deal valuation. It goes without saying that these considerations are pretty core to the sporting sector.

The ability to generate post-deal value across the sports industry is certainly easier than most, compounded by the nature of the assembled team at the AKIC SPAC. This should not be an issue.

From the announcement of a target and well past the combination, the Sports Ventures Acquisition Corporation should do nothing if improve Post Deal value.

AKIC SPAC In Summary…

The sporting sector took a huge dive across the planet last year, there certainly exists a huge opportunity for growth considering the continued growth of the industry previously.

However, with the remnants of the Pandemic still fresh in our minds, the timing of the AKIC SPAC is pretty perfect. Considering the 2 years in finding a target, the opportunities in the near future will be ripe for the picking.

If anything, buying in under NAV is a tried and tested SPAC strategy. The fantastic team has heavy pressure placed upon it due to the lack of a true sponsor. However, the surprisingly large IPO and inclusion of Deutsche Bank Securities leads many to presume that a solid deal is already in the works.

In the meanwhile, Investors need to sit tight and hope the seasoned veterans at the Sports Ventures Acquisition Corporation manage to identify a profitable combination target.

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