Utah Sees Launch of its Second Ever SPAC with Today's $200 Million IPO of Worldwide Webb Acquisition Corporation

Late last night (11:27pm ET to be precise), Orem, Utah-based Worldwide Webb Acquisition Corporation announced that its units would begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market at a price of $10 per unit under the symbol WWACU.

With this IPO, Webb becomes only the second ever Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) formed in Utah (and focused on the Silicon Slopes community), all with the purpose of

  • Raising monies via a stock market IPO, so
  • It can then identify and merge with an existing operating company, to then
  • Transform the acquired company overnight into a publicly traded and IPO-funded company.

The first Utah company to form a SPAC and successfully launch an IPO was Lehi, Utah-based Banner Acquisition Corp. which raised $150 million through its public offering in mid-September.

As noted in last night's news release, Webb sold 20 million units today at an initial price of $10/unit, raising $200 million in the process. {Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share.}

Additionally, the underwriters on the Webb IPO have also been granted a 45-day option to purchase up to 3 million units at the offering price.

{NOTE: BofA Securities is the lead underwriter on the Webb IPO; it was the sole underwriter for the Banner IPO, and it is serving as an co-lead underwriter on the currently paused IPO for iFIT Health & Fitness.}

With the monies in hand, Webb is now prepared to go out "shopping" for the right company to merge with and take public in the process.

Webb Leadership and Focus

Interestingly, Webb is led by two brothers and a seasoned financial markets/investments executive.

On the family side of the equation, Tony and Terry Pearce are the so-called SPAC Sponsors and Advisors, with Tony serving as Executive Chairman and Director, while Terry serving is as Executive Vice Chairman and Director.

If the names Tony and Terry Pearce sound vaguely familiar, it's not too surprising as they were the co-founders and initial top executives of Purple Innovation, the Utah-based mattress company. As such, both Pearce's have been through the "blank check" process before, as Purple was taken public via a SPAC in the first place.

Joining the Pearce brothers is Daniel Webb, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and a Director of Webb.

He was previously a technology investment banker and private equity investor and worked on transactions totaling approximately $40 billion in transaction value for disruptive internet companies. In his career as an investment banker at Bank of America and Citi, Webb advised such leading technology companies on their IPOs as

  • Arista Networks,
  • Cardlytics,
  • Carvana,
  • Delivery Hero,
  • Fiverr,
  • Freescale Semiconductor,
  • Grubhub,
  • Pinterest,
  • Revolve,
  • Snap,
  • SurveyMonkey,
  • Trivago, and
  • Zulily.  

Additionally, Webb also helped raise public and private capital for such other tech companies as  

  1. Costar,
  2. Fanatics,
  3. GSV Capital,
  4. Integral Ad Science,
  5. MakeMyTrip,
  6. Microsoft,
  7. Overstock,
  8. Paytm,
  9. Pinterest,
  10. Purple,
  11. Thrasio, and
  12. Thrillist,

among others.

Now ... don't be shocked when you visit the spartan Webb website, because you'll find very little there ... except you will learn who else is serving on its Board of Directors.

Of these, the most interesting ones to me are

  • Tanner Ainge, the CEO of Banner Acquisition Corp., and
  • Davis Smith, Founder and CEO of Salt Lake City-based Cotopaxi.

Last of all, the company's prospectus (aka, Form S1/A) explains that Webb is targeting prospective merger/acquisition candidates that is "a market-leading, differentiated internet company."

In other words, post-merger Webb might end up in just about any industry as long as it's internet-enabled.

As of market close today on Wall Street, units of Worldwide Webb Acquisition Corp. (NasdaqGM:WWACU) closed at $9.94, down six cents for the day on volume of nearly 7 million units.

And Webb now has $200 million in the bank (or nearly so after associated IPO costs).

Separately, Banner (NasdaqCM:BNNRU) ended the day at $9.99/unit, off a penny from its offering price in early September.

In other words, not a bad day in SPAC-land here in Utah.

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