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Motor racing legend Michael Andretti just took his SPAC audience

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Motor racing legend Michael Andretti just took his SPAC audience

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Today, one of the most famous names in motor racing history, former IndyCar champion Michael Andretti, seeks to capitalize on the moment by going public with a blank check company.

The Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, Andretti Acquistion Co raised $ 200 million in its initial public offering on Thursday. The shares edged up from their IPO price of $ 10 early in trading. The stock trades under the ticker symbol of WNNR.U.

The name Andretti is legendary in the world of motor racing. Michael’s father, Mario, was both an IndyCar champion in America and a Formula 1 winner. Michael’s son Marco now also races and several other members of the Andretti family have been successful drivers. .

CNN Business spoke to Andretti, co-CEO of Andretti Acquisition and head of the Andretti Autosport racing team, as well as his fellow co-CEO, Bill Sandbrook, former CEO of US Concrete, who now belongs to Vulcan materials (MVC)and CFO, Matt Brown, on the future of Andretti Acquisition.

Brown said the Andretti Acquisition was considering deals across the automotive landscape, including electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

“There are a lot of emerging and established companies that could benefit from the Andretti brand,” Brown said, adding that PSPC was looking to strike a deal between $ 1 billion and $ 2 billion.

Like many SPACs, Andretti hopes to attract other investors through a so-called public equity private investment transaction, or PIPE. RBC advises Andretti Acquisitions as an underwriter of PSPC.

But Andretti said that even though there had been rumors last year that Andretti Autosport wanted to buy a Formula 1 team, investors shouldn’t expect PSPC to make direct investments in the best world racing circuit – despite the Netflix boost F1 got.

“There has been a lot of speculation about how I was looking to get involved in Formula 1, but we’re not going to do it through SPAC, which is independent from Andretti Autosport.” he said. “But Netflix has done wonders for Formula 1 and it’s good for all races.”

F1 is now part of John Malone’s Liberty Media empire, and the racing company even has its own inventory tracking (FWONA)which has jumped nearly 65% ​​in the past year.

Andretti said his PSPC would consider acquisitions of businesses related to the electric auto racing industry.

Andretti Autosport already has a team that competes in the Formula E series for electric racing cars. And Zak Brown, CEO of the McLaren Racing team, which has the best drivers on the Formula 1 circuit, is now a member of the board of directors of Andretti Acquisition.

Motor racing legend Michael Andretti just took his SPAC audience

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“Our team has a lot of experience in the all-electric Formula E series,” said Andretti. “So if the businesses that we’re looking to buy are in that space, we’ve got a lot to contribute to the party.”

Sandbrook brings Wall Street common sense to this party. He was CEO of US Concrete from 2011 until his retirement in 2020.

So how did a building materials manager get involved in auto racing?

It turns out that he has known Michael Andretti and the rest of the family for most of his life. They were next door neighbors and grew up in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. US Concrete even sponsored Marco Andretti’s Indy car.

“Michael and I have known each other forever,” Sandbrook said, joking that Andretti didn’t need to hire a headhunter or go to LinkedIn to find a CEO for his PSPC.

Now Sandbrook is hoping to use his business connections to find the right company to merge SPAC Andretti with, adding that the infrastructure bill that was passed in Congress and signed by President Joe Biden last year could lead to more. opportunities to buy electric vehicle charging companies.

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