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Vivid Seats Rises in Market Debut Following SPAC Merger

Vivid Seats, a live-events ticket reseller founded in 2001, began trading on Nasdaq. The shares are higher.

Secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats SEAT began trading on Nasdaq after it merged with special-purpose-acquisition company Horizon Acquisition.

The combination was approved by holders of a majority of Horizon shares at a special meeting Oct. 14. 

Vivid Seats shares on Tuesday closed 6.5% higher at $13.09. 

The Chicago company's marketplace serves the concert, sports and theater markets. Vivid says it has 12 million customers and 3,400 sellers transacting across more than 200,000 listed events. 

The company, which was founded in 2001, also declared a special dividend of about 23 cents a share, to holders of record Oct. 29. The payable date is within three business days of the record date.

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SPACs, or blank-check companies, are formed for the express purpose of finding and merging with an operating partner. The idea is to speed the operating company to the public markets and avoid the extended process of a traditional initial public offering.

SPAC mergers have become increasingly popular during the pandemic.

In 2020, SPAC companies raised more than $83 billion, more than six times the $13 billion of 2019. In 2021 through July, SPACs raised $125.7 billion in 435 deals, according to CNBC

At the same time, CNBC reported, as of Sept. 6, 125 blank-check deals had closed mergers and 58% of them were trading below $10 a share, their usual IPO price. 

In September, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) sent an open letter stating she was "concerned about the misaligned incentives between SPACs' creators and early investors on the one hand, and retail investors on the other," CNBC reported.