Back-To-SPAC: Former MGM CEO Launches Second Online Gambling-Focused Corp

Written By Brad Allen on February 24, 2021 - Last Updated on December 30, 2021
Acies II

Former MGM CEO Jim Murren is leading a second special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) targeting the online gambling industry.

Acies Acquisition II filed its S-1 with the SEC on Monday. According to the initial filing, Murren will act as chairman. Members of his first SPAC Acies Acquisition I will fill out the other key positions.

That includes Eilers & Krejcik partner Chris Grove as executive VP of acquisitions and Zachary Leonsis on the board of directors.

Acies II aims to raise $250 million.

Was Acies I successful?

The group’s first SPAC ultimately acquired social casino company PlayStudios at a $1.1 billion valuation.

That investment vehicle ($ACACU) has seen its price relatively unchanged since the acquisition was announced. It is trading at $11 per share as of Wednesday morning.

Acies II will begin trading on the Nasdaq in mid-April under the ticker $ATWO.

What is Acies II looking for?

According to the S-1, it is targeting businesses in:

  • Sports betting
  • iGaming
  • Casino gaming
  • Live events
  • Destination hospitality

“We will pursue both consumer-facing operators as well as the business-to-business platforms that support them,” the filing said.

The SPAC said sports betting and iGaming would be a $40 billion industry in the US. That’s despite the larger industry being almost non-existent three years ago.

“This growth and technological evolution has created a ready need for public equity capital to fund organic growth initiatives and strategically sound, platform-building M&A,” the S-1 said. “Our team is well positioned to partner with a management team to develop, analyze and execute on this next wave of growth and consolidation.”

SPAC attack on online gambling

Acies II is the latest in a line of SPACs investing in US sports betting and online gambling.

Rush Street Interactive, DraftKings and Golden Nugget have all previously used this reverse IPO method to go public.

More recently, renowned gaming investor Jason Ader also has a SPAC looking for a target.

Editor’s note: Chris Grove is one of the original founders of Legal Sports Report.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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