What happened

Shares of Horizon Acquisition Corporation II (HZON) were soaring 17% in morning trading Wednesday after the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) was rumored to be in a merger deal with Swiss gambling-data company Sportradar.

So what

Bloomberg reported late last night that the sports data and video platform was in talks to go public with the SPAC, though the size of the deal was not known. Speculation last month about the company going public pegged a blank-check deal at about $10 billion to $12 billion.

Sports betting odds board

Image source: Getty Images.

Last year, it was forecast it could fetch $8 billion, but all the estimates far exceed the valuation assigned to Sportradar in 2018 when the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and private equity firm TCV bought a minority stake, which put the price tag at $2.4 billion. Its backers also include basketball legend Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.

Now what

SPACs are the flavor of the month in taking businesses public. In 2016 there were just 13 SPAC IPOs; last year there were 248. In the first two months of 2021, there have already been over 200 SPAC transactions.

Sports betting operations have been popular with SPACs, with DraftKings going public last year and Golden Nugget Online Gaming doing so this year.