International Media Acquisition Corp (IMAC), the SPAC founded by Indian Media and Entertainment stalwart Shibasish Sarkar, currently the Group CEO of Reliance Entertainment, is one course to list on NASDAQ, as it seeks to raise $200 million with the IPO in the next 12-18 months. Additionally, the listing also has an overallotment option of 3 million units marked for underwriters to cover over allotment if any. IMAC has refiled their prospectus with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on the 25th of June, after valuation of warrant as mandated by SEC, and are currently reported to be holding Road Shows.
IMAC is among a handful of India-related SPACs floating IPOs in the US, and the sole India related SPAC in the entertainment sector currently.
The SPAC, expected to list in the second half of July, is led by Shibasish Sarkar as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and is understood to be supported by leading members of India’s film industry including Rohit Shetty (Director, Producer), Imtiaz Ali (Director, Producer & Writer), Neeraj Pandey (Director, Producer & Writer), Luv Ranjan (Director, Producer & Writer), Mani Ratnam (Director, Producer), Megastar Ajay Devgn (Actor, Director, Producer) and Vidyut Jammwal (Actor, Producer). Apart from the lead actors and directors, other supporters of the venture reportedly include producers and media conglomerates such as Bhushan Kumar (T Series), Mumbai Movie Studio, Supriya Yarlagadda (Annapurna Studios), BVSN Prasad (SVCC), S Shashikant (Y Not Studios), Deepa Tracy (Storiculture), Vishwa Prasad (People Media) and Syed Taher Ali (Taher Cine Tekniq). The SPAC reportedly also has the support of non-entertainment-related entrepreneurs such as Ajay Agarwal (a second-generation entrepreneur with interests in garment manufacturing, aviation, and exports).
An entity affiliated with Shibasish Sarkar is reported to have already committed to buy units worth at least $7.14 million and up to $7.96 million if the underwriters exercise the overallotment option.
IMAC is different from most other SPACs in that it wants to acquire a company in the media, entertainment and technology industry – a sector where the coronavirus pandemic has had a mixed impact. While traditional cinema and entertainment venues have suffered under the lockdowns, streaming services and gaming have seen a significant uptick. Therefore, IMAC sees covid as an opportunity to acquire companies with positive operating cash flow or clear paths to positive operating cash flow, significant assets, and strong management teams, with a particular focus on the India opportunity.
It intends to target companies with an enterprise value of between $150 million and $500 million. However, the fair market value of the target business will be a minimum of $160 million to meet Nasdaq’s rules for SPACs. If IMAC exercises the overallotment option, the minimum fair market value will go up to $184 million.
India, the fastest-growing OTT market in the world, is being viewed seriously by On-Demand platforms as a must-have proposition for their growth strategy. As a huge multi-linguistic market, with many local languages, India has addressable audiences of over 50 million in each market of the local regions.
IMAC sees this opportunity to bring together M&A deals in segments such as films, TV & digital content, gaming, over-the-top distribution, online social media, online commerce, events, celebrity and talent management, and app-based applications in areas like sports and leisure.
The prospectus filed with the SEC describes India as a mobile digital-first economy, as well as the market that sells the most cinema tickets in the world – pointing to the opportunities IMAC sees in the market.
IMAC’s board of directors also include Sanjay Wadhwa, the Managing Partner of AP International Group, one of the biggest Tamil-language IP owners; David Taghioff, the former co-head of CAA’s global client strategy and currently the CEO of Library Pictures International; Greg Silverman, the head of Stampede Ventures, and former president of creative development and worldwide production at Warner Bros; Vishwas Joshi, the former Disney India executive, and currently IMAC’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Pelosi Jr., the noted U.S. businessman, Deepak Nayar, the Grammy, and BAFTA-nominated film producer and Suresh Ramamurthi, the Chairman of CBW Bank.
Shibasish Sarkar is currently the Group CEO of Reliance Entertainment, one of the biggest production houses in India and part of the Reliance Group. In Hollywood, Reliance has a stake in Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.