Shaquille O’Neal, Martin Luther King III, and Former Disney Executives Team Up for Media and Tech Deals

FILE PHOTO: Broadcaster and former NBA basketball star Shaquille O’Neal poses as he arrives at the WarnerMedia Upfront event in New York City, New York, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Shaquille O’Neal is teaming up with three former high-ranking Disney execs and one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s sons to make deals in the media and technology space.

The new group, called Forest Road Acquisition Corp., aims to raise $250 million for potential acquisitions that could include intellectual property and “audience aggregation platforms” such as streaming platforms, according to a securities filing.

Forrest Road is a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, the filing said. SPACs have no business operations, as they are created simply to raise money to buy an existing company that then takes over their stock listing.

In this case, the existing company is the film-financing firm Forest Road Co., whose chief executive Zachary Tarica will serve as chairman of the SPAC. Keith Horn, a former chief operating officer of Elliott Management and founder of Loring Capital Advisors, will be CEO.

O’Neal, a sports commentator on TNT Network who owns many Papa John’s Pizza and Auntie Anne’s pretzel franchises, will serve as a strategic adviser. The NBA great also owns nightclubs in Las Vegas and is active in esports.  According to the filing, O’Neal has “a keen eye for investing in successful ventures, having invested in Google prior to its initial public offering and Ring prior to its sale to Amazon.”

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SOURCE: New York Post, Alexandra Steigrad