Here Are The Black And Latina Celebs Leading Influential SPACs

Kevin Durant recently launched a $200 million special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), making him the latest celebrity to endorse a blank-check firm.

A SPAC is a “blank check” shell corporation designed to take companies public without going through the traditional IPO process.

Durant’s SPAC will trade under Ticker symbol “NFNT.U” on the New York Stock Exchange and be co-led by Durant and his longtime manager and business partner, Rich Kleiman.

LionTree, an investment and merchant banking firm, has also joined the dynamic duo as a sponsor of the SPAC, according to Reuters.

The company will sell 20 million shares at $10 and return to investors if it doesn’t acquire a company to take public within 24 months.

So far in 2021, more than 512 SPACs have debuted in the U.S., raising nearly $140 billion in the process, according to SPAC Research.

By comparison, 247 SPACs were listed in the US a year ago, which has raised $83.4 billion. 

Besides Durant, SPACs have attracted the attention of other celebrities, including rapper Jay-Z, tennis star Serena Williams and the National Basketball Association Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

Alex Rodriguez also started a SPAC called Slam Corp.

Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick’s SPAC, called Mission Advancement, plans to raise $287 million to acquire a billion-dollar, consumer-focused company with the potential to “generate a positive social impact,” according to its SEC filing.

Shaquille O’Neal

NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal created a SPAC alongside one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s sons and three ex-Disney executives.

The group’s SPAC, called Forest Road Acquisition, plans to raise $250 million for deals for the blank-check company, specifically to make deals in the media and technology sectors.

He will serve as a strategic adviser, Martin Luther King III has been tapped as a director.

Shawn Rochester  and Robin Watkins, 

Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition Inc. (MEOA) is equipped to help minority businesses and enterprises—including black-owned companies—grow, gain new capital, and flourish through mergers and acquisitions.

 MEOA completed an initial public offering in late August. The business reports the transaction makes it the first Black-led special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on Nasdaq, trading under the ticker symbol “MEOAU.”

Ms. Watfkins works as CFO of MEOA.

Jay-Z

JAY-Z arrives at a special screening of “The Harder They Fall” on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at the Shrine in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

So – this one is rather interesting.

Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp, the largest cannabis SPAC in History, announced a transaction with Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, Roc Nation, Caliva, and Left Coast Ventures earlier this year.

Jay-Z joined The Parent Company as Chief Visionary Officer to guide brand strategy and The Parent Company Social Equity Ventures, a corporate venture fund investing in Black-owned and minority-owned cannabis businesses.

Serena Williams

It was announced in December last year that tennis legend Serena Williams will be joining the board of directors of Barry Sternlicht’s latest special purpose acquisition company. The SPAC, Jaws Spitfire Acquisition, raised $300 million in an IPO earlier this month.

Williams is the sixth member of the blank check firm’s management team and its fifth member of the board. She will help Jaws Spitfire locate an acquisition target in consumer technology or other related technology businesses in North America or Europe.

Alex Rodriguez

The former baseball superstar is the latest high-profile name to throw his hat in the SPAC ring by launching a “blank check” company called Slam Corp., a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

The filing said that Rodriguez would lead Slam as its CEO and that it would seek an acquisition within the “sports, media, entertainment, health and wellness and consumer technology sectors.”

“We will seek to acquire a multibillion-dollar asset with a leading market position in an attractive industry,” the filing said.

Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.

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