YES Co-Founder Leo Hindery Forms $425 Million Media-Focused SPAC

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Leo Hindery Jr., a telecom and media executive who co-founded the YES Network, has filed for a $425 million special purpose acquisition company. The SPAC, Trine II Acquisition, seeks to find a business in the technology, media, telecom sector, according to its prospectus, filed last night with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hindery co-founded the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network and was its chairman and CEO until October 2004. The regional sports network began broadcasting in 2002, anchored by the bulk of the Yankees regular season baseball games. It quickly became one of the most valuable sports media properties of its day, worth $1.8 billion at its sale, according to the filing, which doesn’t provide more details on that transaction. The network most recently was sold at a valuation of $3.47 billion in 2019.

The executive, 72, cut his teeth in the cable industry, becoming CEO of Tele-Communications in 1997, then the world’s largest cable operator, which later merged with AT&T Broadband. Following his stint at YES, he founded InterMedia Advisors, a private equity firm focused on media and telecom assets, including cable networks the Sportsman Channel and Universal Sports. He previously had a SPAC—Trine Acquisition—which brought Desktop Metal, a 3-D printing technology company, public last year. Hindery is chairman of Trine II and, through a series of closely held entities, its sponsor.

Joining Hindery’s Trine II blank check is Pierre Henry as CEO. Henry was part of the first Trine SPAC and previously an executive in Hemisphere Media, a Hispanic-focused media company, as well as at Rakuten, the Japanese internet business. Another YES veteran, Mark Coleman, is executive vice president and general counsel of Trine II, the same titles he held at YES and in the first Trine. Eight other executives and directors are in Hindery’s SPAC, including Jamie Seltzer, a partner at LightSpeed Ventures, who led an investment into Fubo TV at a prior firm; Josephine Linden, chairman of Lands’ End and Linden Global Strategies, a wealth-management office; and Desktop Metal CEO and chairman Ric Fulop, who previously helmed A123 Systems, a once-publicly traded battery start-up that is now a subsidiary of a Chinese company.

Trine II is one of more than 75 blank check business formed by sports executives or have a sports-related focus. Like all SPACs Trine II will have a limited timeframe to make an acquisition after its IPO, in this case 24 months. The business hopes to sell 42.5 million units at $10 a piece, consisting of one share and one-fourth of a warrant, the right to buy an additional share at $11.50. Morgan Stanley is the sole bookrunner, the investment bank that markets the offering to investors.

An email to Coleman seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

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