May 19, 2022

Next-Generation GPS Firm NextNav Nears SPAC Deal to Go Public

NextNav Holdings LLC is nearing a combination with a special-purpose acquisition company that would take the next-generation GPS firm public and value it at about $1.2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Founded in 2007, NextNav says its platforms can locate a device’s specific indoor positioning, including what floor of a building it is on. Vertical positioning data are a focus for regulators to improve responses to 911 emergency calls in urban areas and could also have consumer applications in sectors like gaming and transportation that require a device’s specific location. NextNav owns licenses to use wireless airwaves that support nationwide telecom networks.

The McLean, Va., company is close to a deal to merge with the SPAC

Spartacus Acquisition Corp.,

TMTS -0.11%

the people said. Spartacus is focused on deals in the technology, media and telecom industries. The combination is expected to be announced in the coming days.

NextNav is expected to generate roughly $410 million in cash through the deal from the money held by the SPAC and a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, associated with the merger, they said. PIPE investors in the deal are expected to include Koch Strategic Platforms, a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group, and funds managed by Fortress Investment Group.

Existing NextNav investors include funds managed by Fortress and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. XM Satellite Radio founder Gary Parsons is the chairman of NextNav’s board.

SPACs like Spartacus are shell companies that list on an exchange to acquire a private firm and take it public. They are also called blank-check companies. Merging with a SPAC has become a popular way for startups to quickly raise large sums and access investors who are excited about speculative technologies. One reason is that SPAC mergers let startups make projections about their business, which aren’t allowed in a normal IPO.

SPACs have raised about $105 billion so far in 2021, shattering last year’s record north of $80 billion, per data provider SPAC Research. The 2020 total was more than the amount previously raised in the nearly 30-year history of the SPAC market.

Some companies that go public via blank-check firms have become popular investments for individual investors, while many professionals argue that they are overvalued and are wagering that their share prices will fall. That tension has driven volatility and put some of the firms linked to SPACs at the center of the recent day-trading frenzy. Just this week, shares of Clover Health Investments Corp. more than doubled before sliding 24% on Wednesday.

In another illustration of the risks of investing in certain companies that merge with SPACs, electric-truck startup Lordstown Motors Corp. warned Tuesday that it doesn’t have enough cash to begin production and isn’t sure whether it can continue operating.

Write to Amrith Ramkumar at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the June 10, 2021, print edition as ‘GPS Firm NextNav To List Via SPAC Merger.’

Related Posts

U.S. Employers Added 559,000 Jobs in May

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Employers added 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, in a pickup of the labor market’s...

Fed Chair Powell Seen Visiting White House on Thursday

November 5, 2021

November 5, 2021

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was seen visiting the White House on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter....

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to Be on Blue Origin’s First Human Space Flight

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Jeff Bezos plans to travel to space next month as one of the first passengers carried by Blue Origin, the...

Jerome Powell’s Fate Is Critical to Biden Presidency

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

Few things matter more to the success of President Biden’s administration than employment and inflation, and few institutions influence those...

Americans Face Higher Gas Prices Heading Into July 4th Weekend

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

Americans face the steepest gasoline prices in nearly seven years as tens of millions eagerly hit the road this summer...

The World Relies on One Chip Maker in Taiwan, Leaving Everyone Vulnerable

June 19, 2021

June 19, 2021

The company makes almost all of the world’s most sophisticated chips, and many of the simpler ones, too. They’re in...

Resorts World to Open in Las Vegas as Business Rebounds After Covid-19

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

LAS VEGAS—The first new megacasino on the Strip in more than a decade, the $4.3 billion Resorts World, opens here...

Internet’s Original Source Code Sold as NFT for $5.4 Million

June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

The original files of the source code for the World Wide Web were sold Wednesday as a nonfungible token, or...

Match Group, Former Employees Spar Over Handling of Sexual-Assault Allegation

May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021

When Greg Blatt announced his plan to resign as Match Group Inc. MTCH 0.26% chief executive in 2017, the dating-app...

Google, Facebook, Amazon Among Those Set to Fight House Big Tech Antitrust Package

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

The House Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to approve the final piece of its six-part package, the “Ending Platform Monopolies...

Google to Pursue Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract

November 3, 2021

November 3, 2021

Google is pursuing a massive cloud-computing contract with the Department of Defense, nearly three years after abandoning a similar bid...

Music Publishers Sue Roblox for Letting Game Creators Use Unlicensed Songs

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

A group of music publishers representing the songwriters of hits from Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and the Rolling Stones is...

Live-Stream Shopping App Ntwrk Hires Its First Chief Marketing Officer

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

The company behind Ntwrk, an app that sells limited-edition merchandise during live-streamed videos often hosted by celebrities, has hired its...

Chinese Nuclear Plant Flags Performance Issue, French Part Owner Says

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

French power giant Électricité de France SA said it had requested an extraordinary board meeting with Chinese managers of a...

U.S. Plans to Spend Big on Critical Minerals; Choosing Where Isn’t Easy

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

As the U.S. and its allies chase China in procuring critical minerals essential for modern technologies, they face a major...