Nightcap: Aurora said to agree to merge with Reid Hoffman's SPAC and a Manning family-backed grill retailer looking to heat up the SPAC market

SPAC Track's Nightly Newsletter

Nightly recap of the day’s SPAC highlights (July 14, 2021)


The Stats:

Self-Driving Startup Aurora in Agreement With Reinvent SPAC (article behind paywall)

Driverless technology startup Aurora Innovation Inc. has agreed to go public via a merger with Reinvent Technology Partners Y (RTPY: $9.85), a blank-check firm led by executives including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga Inc. founder Mark Pincus, people with knowledge of the matter said. The transaction’s valuation couldn’t immediately be learned. TechCrunch in early June reported that Aurora and the Reinvent SPAC were in talks for a deal close to $12 billion. An agreement is set to be announced as soon as Thursday, the people with knowledge of the matter said. Aurora is led by Chief Executive Officer Chris Urmson, and Hoffman is a board member. In March, the Silicon Valley-based startup, added Volvo Group to its list of partners to develop self-driving trucks. Paccar Inc. joined with Aurora in January for a similar development deal. Aurora has said its investors include, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. Aurora’s technology relies on innovations in lidar, which uses lasers to build a three-dimensional image of the surrounding landscape and help plot routes around obstacles in the road. It uses a technology that is designed to allow vehicles to “see” farther and faster and is critical at highway speeds.

Eli, Peyton Manning-Backed BBQGuys in Talks With Velocity (article behind paywall)

BBQGuys, an online retailer of grills, outdoor kitchens and other accessories, is in talks to go public through a merger with Velocity Acquisition Corp. (VELO: $9.84), according to people with knowledge of the matter. The combined company is set to be valued at around $900 million, including debt, the people said. Unlike some other recent special purpose acquisition company transactions, there will be no private investment in public equity raised to support the deal, they added. Existing investors are set to roll their equity into the deal, the people said. BBQGuys’ majority owner is Brand Velocity Partners, and minority investors include a family of National Football League veterans: Archie Manning and his sons Eli Manning and Peyton Manning. Archie and Eli are in some of the company’s advertisements, its website shows. Representatives for Velocity and Brand Velocity Partners declined to comment. A BBQGuys spokesman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. BBQGuys, an e-commerce marketplace that stocks brands including Blaze, Weber, Traeger and Magma, has been profitable for decades, the people with knowledge of the matter said. Its revenue has risen at a compound annual growth rate of roughly 40% over the past 3 years to more than $250 million in 2020, the people said. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was over $30 million last year.

  • Quick News Corner:


    Landcadia Holdings III, Inc.​ (LCY: $12.17completed its merger with Hillman Group. LCY will trade as HLMN starting tomorrow.

  • Rodgers Silicon Valley Acquisition Corp. (RSVA: $20.36completed its merger with Enovix. RSVA will trade as ENVX starting tomorrow.

  • one (AONE: $8.56completed its merger with Markforged. AONE will trade as MKFG starting tomorrow.

  • Empower Ltd. (EMPW: $10.38) shareholders approve the merger with Holley

  • Sandbridge Acquisition Corporation (SBG: $8.32) shareholders approve the merger with Owlet

    • 19.8M shares or 86% of the public SPAC shares were redeemed

  • GX Acquisition Corp (GXGX: $9.17) shareholders approve the merger with Cellularity


IPOs to Begin Trading Tomorrow*:


1) Cleantech Acquisition Corp. (CLAQ-U)

  • $150M, 1/2 warrant, 1 right (1/20th of a share)

  • Focus: CleanTech or ClimateTech

  • Directors:

    • Chairman: Jon Najarian (Co-Founder of Market Rebellion, CNBC contributor)

    • Governor Bill Richardson (Former Governor of New Mexico)


2) TradeUp Acquisition Corp. (UPTD-U)

  • $40M, 1/2 warrant

  • Focus: Tech



*Priced at the time of this writing


New S-1s (2)


1) Peridot Acquisition Corp. III (PRDT)

  • $300M, 1/5 warrant

  • Focus: Energy transition

  • Sponsor’s Previous SPAC Activity: Peridot Acquisition Corp. (PDAC: $10.86) announced a merger deal with Li-Cycle in February.


2) Sachem Acquisition Corp. (SCEM)

  • $50M, 1/2 warrant

  • Focus: Real Estate

  • Directors:

    Andre Fernandez (Former CFO of NCR)

  • S-1 Link


Upcoming Dates:

This Week’s Announced Shareholder Meetings, Unit Splits, Warrant Redemptions


Thursday, July 15th


  • NewHold Investment Corp (NHIC: $10.01) Shareholder Meeting to Approve Business Combination with Evolv Technologies

  • Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation (DCRB: $10.23) Shareholder Meeting to Approve Business Combination with Hyzon Motors


Friday, July 16th

  • FG New America Acquisition Corp. (FGNA: $10.37) Shareholder Meeting to Approve Business Combination with OppFi

Price data is provided by IEX and is delayed at least 15 minutes. Quotes and/or trade prices are not sourced from all markets.


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