Haim Saban Selling Shares in U.S. Blank-check Company

Nasdaq-traded firm promises to use the $250 million it’s raising to buy company that can benefit from media magnate’s expertise.

Haim Saban.
Alon Ron

Haim Saban, an Israeli who built a global media empire on the back of the Power Rangers children’s television series, is offering investors a chance to own a piece of his media and investment savvy.

Saban Capital Acquisition, a blank-check company formed to acquire unspecified media, entertainment and communications assets, announced terms for an initial public offering in the United States on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles-based company plans to raise $200 million by offering 20 million units at $10 each, with each unit comprising a share and warrant entitling the holder to buy a half share later, so that the entire proceeds could reach $250 million fully diluted. Saban is committed to personally buying six million warrants in a parallel private placement.

In addition, the company’s chairman will be Saban himself, who founded and led Saban Entertainment since 1988, merging it with Fox Kids Network and then selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2001 for $3.3 billion. In Israel, Saban has owned Partner Communications, the No. 2 cellphone operator, since 2013 and before that was part of the investor group that controlled Bezeq.

In the United States, Saban leads the investor group that controls Univision, the largest Spanish-language media company, that last week won a bankruptcy auction for the Gawker media Group.

Saban formed a venture capital company at the start of this year with $100 million in assets that is investing in startups specializing in mobile and social networks. He is also a leading contributors to the U.S. Democratic Party and to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Saban Capital Acquisition said its plan is to invest in a high-growth company that can benefit Saban Group’s expertise and connections. Candidate companies for its portfolio must also enjoy a significant competitive advantage over rivals, market leadership, high barriers to entry and the ability to generate cash.

Under Nasdaq rules, blank-check companies, or special-purpose acquisition companies, must invest at least 80% of the funds raised after fees and taxes in their first acquisition or merger.

The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol SCACU. Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are jointly managing the sale and have a 45-day option to take an additional three million units if there’s enough demand.