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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This is what it looks like when a snake eats its own tail: Group Nine Acquisition Corp., a blank-check acquisition company, is being created by an entity called Group Nine SPAC LLC, which is a subsidiary of Group Nine Media, which in turn is going to be bought by Group Nine Acquisition Corp.

Why it matters: The gloriously convoluted structure manages to allow Group Nine Media to go public without having the normal scrutiny associated with a formal IPO — and also allows it to collect the hefty 20% sponsorship fee that a SPAC would normally charge.

The big picture: CEOs wanting to take their company public have never had more options — the IPO, the direct listing, the SPAC, even now the Primary Direct Floor Listing. All of them are seeing intense interest right now, during one of the biggest IPO booms in history.

How it works: The new Group Nine SPAC will eventually buy Group Nine Media — but not until it finds at least one other media company to buy at the same time.

  • What they're saying: The SPAC prospectus talks about creating "a scaled platform with efficient portfolio infrastructure" pursuing "a robust roll up strategy" and "capitalizing on synergy opportunities."
  • What they mean: They want to use other people's money to buy competitors.

The bottom line: Money is cheap right now, so it makes sense for Group Nine to try to raise $200 million from public-company investors. They won't be able to buy the Charlotte Agenda, though: Axios got there first.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 25, 2021 - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.

9 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

9 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.