HyperloopTT to go public via SPAC led by former Disney execs

(Reuters) – High-speed transportation systems maker Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) said on Tuesday it would list its shares in the United States through a deal with a blank-check firm at a pre-money valuation of $600 million.

The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Forest Road Acquisition Corp II, which is led by former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer, is expected to provide the combined company $330 million in net proceeds if the SPAC shareholders do not withdraw their money before the deal closes.

HyperloopTT, which makes vacuum tube-based ground transportation systems with airplane speeds, has agreed to a SPAC merger at a time when the market’s appetite for such deals have fizzled, as the economic outlook worsens with rising interest rates and inflation.

The current shareholders and convertible note holders of HyperloopTT will hold $289 million worth of common shares in the company after the deal closes, the company said.

A SPAC is a listed company without any business operations, formed to solely raise money and merge with other companies.

(Reporting by Anirban Chakroborti in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)