Merging company

Signa Sports attracts investments from Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund

Online retailer Signa Sports United is set to close a deal to raise funds from a group of investors, including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to join Signa’s original backers, including Japanese group SoftBank Corp.

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, and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co., the people said. It would mark a kind of reunion for the three investors, who were the cornerstones of SoftBank’s $ 100 billion Vision Fund, launched in 2016.

The group’s and other investors’ total investment is believed to be more than $ 370 million, people familiar with the matter say, and is linked to Signa’s plan to go public in New York thanks to its previously announced merger. with Yucaipa Acquisition. Corp.

, a specialty acquisition company, or SPAC, run by Californian billionaire Ron Burkle. The deal could be announced as early as Friday.

Investment is a private investment in public stocks, or PIPE, a common type of structure that increases the amount of money raised in PSPC mergers. The money will be used for future investments in the business and acquisitions to fuel growth.

Signa is also buying online bicycle retailer WiggleCRC.


Herbert Neubauer / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

Berlin-based Signa oversees an e-commerce and sports technology platform focused on selling bicycles and tennis equipment as well as outdoor and team sportswear. The company’s online sites operate primarily in Europe and the United States and include, Bikester, Probikeshop, CAMPZ, and Tennis-Point.

Signa’s SPAC merger, along with investment from PIF and others, will value the expanded company at $ 3.2 billion. It should be completed by the end of the year. As part of the merger, Signa is also buying online bicycle retailer WiggleCRC from European buyout firm Bridgepoint Group PLC.

A SPAC, or blank check company, raises funds and trades on the stock exchange for the sole purpose of merging with a private company and taking it public. This may be a faster way to go public than the traditional route of an initial public offering.

Signa plans to use the new money to strengthen its presence in the United States. She wants to take advantage of the pandemic-accelerated shift to online shopping and the growing adoption of e-bikes, according to a presentation to the company’s investors.

The agreement underscores PIF’s focus on sports-related investments. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has placed sport and entertainment at the center of a national economic and social transformation. Last week, a group led by the sovereign wealth fund struck a $ 380 million deal to acquire football club Newcastle United from the English Premier League.

A group led by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund recently struck a deal to buy football club Newcastle United, which plays at St James’ Park.


Laurence Griffiths / PA Wire / Zuma Press

Signa forecast that the US market will generate 9% of its total net revenues of $ 1.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. This involves the completion of the acquisition of WiggleCRC and its purchase in May of Tennis Express, a Texas-based online tennis retailer. . In the United States, Signa also operates Midwest Sports, another Ohio-based online tennis retailer.

In the prior year, Signa’s net sales were $ 849 million, all of which came from sales in Continental Europe and the UK.

Write to Ben Dummett at [email protected]

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