Dec 14, 2021 - Economy

Footprint to go public in $1.6 billion SPAC deal

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Footprint, a Gilbert, Arizona-based material sciences company focused on eliminating single-use plastics, agreed to go public at an implied $1.6 billion valuation via Gores Holdings VIII, a SPAC led by private equity billionaire Alec Gores.

Why it matters: Single-use plastics are an environmental calamity, with more than 130 metric tons estimated to have been thrown away in 2019. A lot of that ends up floating in the world's oceans, slowly breaking down into microplastics that can't be found or easily filtered, while most of the rest is dumped into landfills or burned (thus adding to CO2 emissions).

Details: The deal includes $460 million of PIPE financing from backers like Koch Strategic Platforms, including $150 million in Series C preferred stock to be funded immediately. Among Footprint's private backers have been Olympus Partners, Cleveland Avenue, JBS, Sweetgreen and Conagra.

The bottom line: "Increased government regulation, heightened corporate sustainability efforts and changing societal preferences have been a boost to its business, with many consumer-packaged-goods companies seeking alternatives to single-use plastic," Bloomberg writes.

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