Luxury gym chain Equinox is in talks to go public via merger with Chamath Palihapitiya-backed SPAC

Equinox fitness gym
  • Equinox Holdings is in talks to go public via a SPAC merger with Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • A potential transaction could value Equinox at more than $7.5 billion, the report said.
  • The luxury gym operator also owns SoulCycle, BlinkFitness, and opened its first hotel in 2019.
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Equinox Holdings is in talks to go public via a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPACs, according to a Bloomberg report.

The luxury gym owner could be valued at more than $7.5 billion if it goes public with Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI SPAC vehicle, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Talks of Equinox going public heated up in March following a report from Sportico, which said the company was in discussions with as many as 12 different SPACs to complete the public debut.

Besides its luxury gyms under the same name, Equinox owns SoulCycle, BlinkFitness, and opened its first New York City-based hotel in 2019.

The company was hit hard amid the pandemic as it was forced to close many of its locations. Equinox lost about $350 million on $650 million in revenue last year, according to Bloomberg.

An Equinox merger with Social Capital would likely be viewed as a win for the gym operator, as Palihapitiya has been one of the most prolific investors to bring companies public via a SPAC merger.

Some companies brought public by Palihapitiya include Virgin Galactic, which arguably kicked off the SPAC boom in late 2019, as well as Opendoor Technologies, SoFi, and Clover Health.

But the Bloomberg report didn’t drive the same surge in Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI on Wednesday that it might have a few months ago when SPACs were all the rage on Wall Street. The SPAC vehicle was down 2% in Wednesday trades, signalling that investors might not be impressed with the potential deal.

The SPAC market has deflated following a peak in the first quarter of 2021. Few issuances have gone public since April, when the SEC signaled that it would increase regulatory scrutiny on the IPO vehicles, and SPAC stocks have cratered, with the Defiance Next Gen SPAC ETF down nearly 30% since its February peak.

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‘SPAC king’ Chamath Palihapitiya is planning a $1 billion listing of a climate company, according to reports

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya.

  • Chamath Palihapitiya is eyeing a $1 billion UK listing for a new company.
  • The venture will focus on climate change and won’t be a SPAC.
  • Palihapitiya plans to make acquisitions and develop his own operations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya is taking his hunt for businesses to Britain.

Social Capital Hedosophia – the investment firm run by Palihapitiya and his partner Ian Osborne – is eyeing a $1 billion London listing for a company focused on fighting climate change, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and a former Facebook executive, has spearheaded the boom in special-purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs). He has used them to take Virgin Galactic, Opendoor, and Clover Health public, and has several more deals lined up.

The new UK vehicle won’t be structured as a SPAC, but it will seek to make several acquisitions, sources told Bloomberg. It will also work on internal solutions to environmental problems, they said.

Palihapitiya, who will reportedly serve as CEO of the new company, has been shifting his gaze towards environmental investments recently. In January, he invested in commercial EV manufacturer Proterra ahead of its merger with blank-check firm ArcLight Clean Transition Corp.

He also sold his entire personal stake in Virgin Galactic for more than $200 million last week to help finance “a large investment I am making towards fighting climate change,” he told Insider in an emailed statement following the sale.

Read the original article on Business Insider