Colin Kaepernick launches SPAC to target socially-driven firm

Originally published by Reuters Staff, Reuters

(Reuters) – A blank-check firm backed by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and private investment firm Najafi Companies is aiming to raise about $250 million in its initial public offering (IPO), a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.

Mission Advancement Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), will target consumer businesses with an enterprise value of more than $1 billion, which has the potential to generate a positive social impact, it said in a filing.

The footballer, who sparked a national debate when he protested against racial injustice by kneeling as the U.S. national anthem played during a game, will serve as co-chairman of the SPAC.

Kaepernick’s protests, aimed at drawing attention to police brutality against minorities, began in 2016 when he popularized the gesture of kneeling during pre-game renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” while being a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Kaepernick has also launched a publishing company to help create and feature stories on race and civil rights in America, and elevate emerging voices from communities of color.

He is the latest among a number of high-profile public figures and investors, including former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, to join the rush for SPACs.

A SPAC is a shell company that raises money in an IPO before later merging with a privately held company to take the latter public.

Mission Advancement boasts of a board made up entirely of Black, Indigenous and people of color, with a female majority, including online cosmetics retailer Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp.

The social impact strategy of the SPAC aligns with sky high investor demand for companies deemed to have high environmental, social and governance standards.

Mission Advancement will list 25 million units, made up of shares and warrants on the New York Stock Exchange.

Cantor and Moelis & Company are lead underwriters on the offering.

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