Following a number of special purpose acquisition company shutdowns, it’s emerged that Waverley Capital Acquisition Corp. (WCAC), a SPAC led by former Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., has quietly ceased operating.
Digital Music News was recently notified of this latest SPAC unwinding, though Waverley Capital Acquisition Corp. had quietly informed investors (and the public) of the development in a little-discussed release towards August’s end. Besides Bronfman Jr., WCAC counted as execs/team members Luminari Capital founder Daniel Leff (CEO and director), Silicon Valley vet Alan Henricks (CFO), and former Time Warner head Jeff Bewkes (director), to name a few.
Meanwhile, the same release shows that the redemption of all outstanding shares in the SPAC – a company designed to acquire or merge with an already-established business and then allow for its public trade – took place on September 8th.
WCAC “will not consummate an initial business combination within the time period required by its amended and restated memorandum and articles of association,” spelled out the SPAC, which had announced the close of a $200 million initial public offering in August of 2021.
At the time, Waverley Capital Acquisition Corp. was hardly the only SPAC aiming to score a major deal. But in the music space and elsewhere, just a portion of the entities ultimately managed to wrap transactions.
Liberty Media’s $500 million SPAC, former Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson’s Music Acquisition Corp., and the $4 billion Pershing Square Tontine Holdings are among the special purpose acquisition companies that unwound prior to consummating deals. Plus, possible SPAC mergers with SeatGeek, Triller, and others reportedly fell through, with different pacts having closed while encountering obstacles along the way.
However, some companies did manage to list on the public market as a result of SPAC agreements; Deezer is now trading on the Euronext Paris, whereas Anghami (despite receiving a formal delisting warning) and Reservoir Media are trading on NASDAQ.
Notwithstanding these points and the uncertain market, it’s worth noting in conclusion that another SPAC, ESH Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: ESHA), backed by individuals including Disney exec Allen Weiss, set sail in June of 2023.
And Waverley Capital proper, for its part, is continuing to make investments, including in Universal Music-partnered relaxation app Endel and, more recently, AI-powered music-remix startup Hook. Founded by former JioSaavn chief operating officer Gaurav Sharma, Hook announced a $3 million pre-seed round, led by Waverley, last week.