What happened and why Liverpool football club and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry - AKA Fenway Sports - is in talks with a newly formed investment 'vehicle' (it's a company) that would take the sports giant public... according to that well-informed group known as people with knowledge of the matter. You'll never trade alone... The talks between Henry’s Fenway Sports Group and RedBall Acquisition Corp - a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) started by Gerry Cardinale - may lead to a deal that values the owner of the iconic teams at about $8 billion. Cardinale created the SPAC with a team of execs, advisers and groupies, that includes 'moneyball-inspiring' Oakland A’s executive, Billy Beane. ⏪ But let's rewind a minute... 'SPACs' have flocked to market this year. The idea: hold an IPO and then find a business to acquire. Sometimes, they have a clear idea and an unofficial pre-agreement with a company that wants to go public that doesn't have the time or money for its own IPO. At other times, they just raise the dough to go shopping... RedBall (the less extreme of the sporting bros) started trading in August despite not actually trading anything, and landed $575 million dollars and a two year cushion to complete an acquisition in a sports business.But Fenway Sports is valued at closer to $8bn... So Redball plans to raise another $1 billion to purchase a stake in Fenway Sports Group, while Henry & Co control the rest. 💥 SPAC attack... The current growth of SPACs has been both eye-opening and eyebrow-raising. This year 133 SPACs have been floated in the US, raising $51.1bn in the process, nearly four times last year’s volume. Another 67 are waiting in the wings for two main reasons... Cash mountains... Asset managers are sitting on a lot of dough they need to invest — and with US Federal Reserve signalling that rates will stay low until the end of 2023... SPACs are gaining a glow in investor eyes.Efficiency... Financiers have realised that the SPAC-route to listing is more “financially efficient” than a traditional IPO, given the extensive rules and costs. But publicly listing sports companies is not really the done thing. The deal, if completed, could open the door to more publicly owned professional sports teams, a bit of a taboo in the major American sports leagues and likely to ruffle a few feathers on Merseyside. While sports listings might not sit easy with many, Henry has a thing for ending droughts. Henry bought the Red Sox in 2002, and the team has won the World Series four times since 2004, snapping an 86-year drought. Liverpool, in the meantime, won the English Premier League title this season, ending a 30 year drought... with the SPAC floodgates open, Henry is considering paving the way for a wave of sporting SPACs. | The Takeaway Anywhere will do… The identity and perception of SPACs has changed rapidly in the past five years. Previously, these investment vehicles were viewed with suspicion and often as tax-efficient shells. Financial Times analysis showed the majority of SPACS created between 2015-19, trade below their listing price. But, in the interest-bereft investment world, the idea of the SPAC bubble popping anytime soon, doesn't seem likely. Some of the year’s most high-profile new listings - including DraftKings and Virgin Galactic have gone public via SPACs, and Fenway Sports, who also owns Fenway Park, is a well-diversified group that could easily accrue investment appetite.