James Murdoch, Uday Shankar float SPAC to raise $300 mn through US listing

The SPAC plans to target the media, entertainment, consumer technology, healthcare, and education industries in South and Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on India

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 12, 2021 12:44 PM
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Lupa Systems Founder and CEO James Murdoch and Uday Shankar, the former Chairman, and CEO of Star India and President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, have teamed up to float a blank check company Seven Islands Inc that is looking to raise $300-345 million in an initial public offering (IPO).

The Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) plans to target the media, entertainment, consumer technology, healthcare, and education industries in South and Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on India.

The New York-based company plans to raise $300 million by offering 30 million units at $10. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one-fourth of a warrant. Incorporated in Cayman Islands, the company is sponsored by Seven Islands Capital LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia Initiatives Pte. Ltd., a joint venture incorporated in Singapore between Lupa Systems LLC and Uday Shankar.

"Our acquisition and value creation strategy is to identify, acquire and, after our initial business combination, fundamentally enhance the value of a company in the public markets. We intend to seek a company in an industry that complements the experience and expertise of our leadership team and is a business to which we believe we can add value," the company said in its SEC filing.

Seven Islands team is led by James Murdoch as Co-Chairman, Uday Shankar as Co-Chairman, Jeff Palker as President and General Counsel, Nitin Kukreja as President, and Eleni Lionaki as Chief Financial Officer. "We believe that the experience of our team will allow us to source, identify and execute an attractive transaction for our shareholders, particularly given our significant expertise in the Southeast and South Asia region, including India," the company added.

Founded in 2021, Seven Islands plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol SVNIU. Goldman Sachs (Asia), J.P. Morgan, and PJT Partners are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

The company intends to identify and acquire a business that could benefit from a sponsor with extensive operational expertise and experience in building and scaling businesses, particularly within the sectors and markets it is targeting. "The Seven Islands team has an impressive track record of identifying and executing acquisitions that are ripe for growth and disruption across various industry sectors and business cycles. We aim to act as a long-term partner and to drive platform value over time."

Its objective is to provide a target company an efficient path to go public with a significant degree of ongoing funding certainty while creating value for our shareholders by assisting management with strategy, operations, business planning, capital structure optimisation, network building, marketing, and growth and partnership opportunities. We believe that through Seven Islands, we can bring the full range of our management’s capabilities to enhance the value of the target businesses.

In January, Lupa Systems CEO James Murdoch and Uday Shankar, the former Chairman and CEO of Star India and President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, formed a new venture to explore technology and media opportunities in emerging markets. The new partnership reunites Murdoch and Shankar, who worked together building Star India into the region's largest media company, prior to its sale as part of the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.

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