Ex-MGM CEO Harry Sloan, Jeff Sagansky Launch Media Acquisition Company

Sloan and Sagansky, former CBS Entertainment head, form Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. with $190 million IPO

Harry Sloan, the chairman and chief executive of MGM, has partnered with Jeff Sagansky — former CBS Entertainment head and Sony executive — to launch a company that will focus on acquiring media and entertainment businesses.

Sloan — who is credited with reviving the “James Bond” franchise for MGM (pictured, right) — and Sagansky (left) said on Wednesday that they’ve raised $190 million in an initial public offering to form Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: EAGLU), a “special purpose acquisition company.”

Their mission is “to identify and acquire media or entertainment businesses with high growth potential in the United States or internationally.” Under the rules of the "SPAC," the company has 21 months to identify an acquisition.

The pair added that there is “no limitation on its ability to raise additional funds in connection with an acquisition” — meaning that they may end up doing deals that are worth much more than the $190 million they’ve raised.

And there's evidence that it may be much, much larger — perhaps in the $400-500 million range — and that the venture may target an international company.

Sloan is a major media M&A player. Before MGM, he founded SBS Broadcasting, S.A., a European media company, in 1990 with a personal investment of $5 million — and sold the company to private investors in 2005 for $2.5 billion.  
 
Sagansky served as president of CBS Entertainment from 1990 to 1994, and held several  positions at Sony, including co-president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he oversaw the studio's push into Asia.

And despite their studio pedigrees, it's unlikely that Sloan and Sagansky will, at least initially, find a U.S. studio with the high-growth ceiling that their Wall Street investors will be looking for.

Here's the full release:

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 18, 2011 — Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: EAGLU), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by media executives Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, today announced the closing of its initial public offering in which it raised approximately $190 Million. The Global Eagle IPO is the largest raise by a SPAC based in the United States in over three years.

Global Eagle’s purpose is to take advantage of the substantial deal sourcing, investing and operating expertise of its management team to identify and acquire media or entertainment businesses with high growth potential in the United States or internationally.

Global Eagle was formed to complete an acquisition using its cash, debt or securities. There is no limitation on its ability to raise additional funds in connection with its acquisition.  As a result, Global Eagle may acquire a target whose enterprise value is a significant multiple of the amount of cash it has raised.

Global Eagle’s offering was oversubscribed.  Global Eagle initially sought $175 Million, but due to demand, sold 18,992,500 units, at $10 per unit, or approximately $190 Million.  Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one warrant to purchase one share of common stock at an exercise price of $11.50 per share.

Citi acted as sole book-running manager for the offering and Deutsche Bank Securities and Macquarie Capital acted as co-managers.  McDermott Will & Emery LLP acted as legal counsel to Global Eagle, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP acted as legal counsel to the underwriters.

“Jeff and I are encouraged by the strong demand for our stock, and are excited to embark on the global search for a dynamic business to acquire for Global Eagle,” said Mr. Sloan.  “We believe that our substantial experience in acquiring and managing media companies, combined with Global Eagle’s flexible public company structure, will facilitate a large and attractive acquisition.”

Mr. Sloan has built, headed and successfully sold two successful publicly traded media companies.  He was the founder of SBS Broadcasting, S.A., a leading European media company, which he started in 1990 with a personal investment of $5 Million and sold to private investors in 2005 for $2.5 Billion.  Mr. Sloan led a group that originally purchased New World in 1983 for $2 Million.  He led a number of transactions while at New World, including New World’s initial public offering in 1985, its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., in 1986, and New World’s sale to private investors in 1989 for $260 Million.

Mr. Sagansky brings 30 years of senior executive and investor experience in the media and entertainment industry.  Most notably, Mr. Sagansky served as president of CBS Entertainment from 1990 to 1994 and engineered CBS’s ratings rise from third to first place in 18 months.  After that, he held executive positions at Sony including co-President of Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he built and grew businesses throughout Asia and other emerging markets.