en Z and millennial-oriented online content and gaming platform FaZe Clan is going public through a merger with a blank-check firm, the company announced on Monday. The deal values the business at about $1 billion.
Launched in 2010, FaZe Clan includes offerings in the markets of online gaming, esports, sports merchandise and digital content. The company has received funding and support from celebrities including rappers Pitbull and Offset, e-commerce platform Ntwrk, media executive Jimmy Iovine. It counts athletes Kyler Murray and Ben Simmons among its content creators.
Through the merger with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp. (BRPM), FaZe Clan expects to list on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “FAZE.” The transaction will position the company to expand and diversify its digitally native youth lifestyle and media platform, said FaZe in a press statement. Upon completion, BRPM will change its name to “FaZe Holdings Inc.”
With a combined social media reach of over 350 million, FaZe Clan believes itself to be positioned to “reimagine traditional entertainment and culture” for the next generation. Estimated transaction proceeds of approximately $291 million will be used to fund its global multi-platform growth strategy spanning content, consumer products and potential acquisitions.
Upon closing, the combined company is expected to have an implied equity valuation of approximately $1 billion inclusive of nearly $275 million in cash on its balance sheet. On a pro forma basis post-closing, the existing FaZe Clan stockholders will own 68% of the equity interest, all of whom are expected to roll 100% of their equity into the combined company.
“We are thrilled to announce this important milestone of FaZe Clan’s plans to enter the public market,” said Lee Trink, FaZe Clan CEO. “In our short history, we have evolved from a disruptive content generator to one of the world’s most decorated and successful esports franchises, and now into one of the younger generations’ most recognized and followed brands globally.”
Trink further said the listing will contribute to FaZe Clan’s plans to become “the voice of youth culture,” making it a brand at the nexus of content, gaming, entertainment and lifestyle in the digital-native world.
The business combination has been approved by the boards of directors of both FaZe Clan and BRPM and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Upon closing, the combined company will be led by FaZe Clan’s CEO, Lee Trink, who will also become Chairman of the Board.
In August, FaZe onboarded LeBron James Jr., son of basketball legend LeBron James, who joined FaZe as a member and is expected to stream games for the organization. FaZe has also partnered with major companies including McDonald’s Corp. and Verizon Communications to target young consumers.