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SPAC Speculation in Hollywood and Beyond, From Harry Sloan

Harry Sloan
AP

If there’s two things Harry Sloan knows, it’s special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) and the media business.

Sloan has co-founded a record seven SPACs as the co-founder of Eagle Equity Partners, including the most successful such venture to date: sports-betting hub DraftKings, where he also serves as vice chairman. He’s also a well-known name in Hollywood, where his highest-profile stints including chairman/CEO of MGM and founder of international TV colossus SBS Broadcasting.

With both the SEC and Congress paying more attention to SPACs, the sheer volume of these deals is likely to continue tapering off, according to Sloan on the latest episode of Variety’s Strictly Business” podcast.

Listen to the podcast here:

“I don’t anticipate anything coming out of the regulatory side,” he said in an interview conducted Nov. 4 at TechTainment, an annual conference hosted by the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (LAIPLA) in conjunction with LMU Loyola Law School. “I do anticipate a lot more sanity and less speculation among SPAC investors and therefore much less SPACs. Will there be 600 a year from now? No. Will it be 250? There’ll be a lot less.”

In addition to giving his outlook on the SPAC market, Sloan reflected on his career in the media business, including what could be next for the industry. Recalling a period during the 2010s when tech companies kicked the tires on a range of content companies including MGM, he predicted Apple will make an acquisition not unlike the pending Amazon-MGM deal.

"I would think Sony or Lionsgate all are good ideas for them to acquire," observed Sloan. "And I think in two years, you'll see one of those deals get done."

“Strictly Business” is Variety‘s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of media and entertainment. A new episode debuts each Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and SoundCloud.