Exclusive: TikTok rival Triller explores deal to go public – sources

In this news, we discuss the Exclusive: TikTok rival Triller explores deal to go public – sources.

(Reuters) – Triller Inc, an aspiring competitor to popular short video app TikTok, is in talks with blank check acquisition companies over a merger that would make the U.S. social media firm public, according to people familiar with the subject.

The deal would come as Triller seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s woes. The administration of US President Donald Trump has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance to quit the app, fearing that US citizen data could be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party government. TikTok has sued the US government to avoid a ban on US app stores while deal negotiations continue.

Triller, which launched in 2015 and has only a fraction of the 100 million users TikTok boasts in the United States, said he hopes the uncertainty over his rival’s future will lead to more ‘influencers and users to its platform.

Triller is working with investment bank Farvahar Partners as she negotiates a potential deal with a so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), the sources said. A SPAC is a shell company that raises funds through an initial public offering (IPO) to merge with a private company which then becomes publicly traded.

Triller’s SPAC negotiations come alongside discussions with investors about a private fundraiser, led by investment bank UBS Group AG UBSG.S, in which the Los Angeles-based company is seeking to raise around $ 250 million. dollars, sources said.

Triller has so far made around $ 100 million in this cycle for a valuation of $ 1.25 billion, the sources say. He is in the process of deliberating on whether to proceed with the private fundraising or opt for the deal with a PSPC, one of the sources added.

The sources warned that no deal is certain and asked not to be identified as the negotiations are confidential.

Farvahar Partners and UBS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

PSPCs have become a popular IPO alternative for businesses this year, by providing a public pathway with less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty as to which valuation will be achieved and funds that will be raised. U.S. PSPCs have raised $ 53.8 billion so far in 2020 through IPOs, more than the total raised in the previous seven years, according to industry tracker SPAC Research.

Triller said earlier this year that he has 65 million monthly active users on his short video app, although many analytics companies said they didn’t have enough access to independently verify the numbers. by Triller.

Famous Triller users include musicians Alicia Keys, Cardi B, and Eminem, and its backers include Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd.

Triller is owned by media industry veteran Ryan Kavanaugh and director of health Bobby Sarnevesht. Kavanaugh founded US film studio Relativity Media LLC in 2004, whose films included the award-winning film “The Fighter”. The studio ended up filing for bankruptcy twice, in 2015 and 2018.

Sarnevesht was a partner at Bay Area Surgical Management, which lost a $ 37.4 million legal battle against Aetna Inc after the health insurance company alleged in 2012 that it was defrauded by the center operator surgery.

OFFER FOR TIKTOK

Triller sued TikTok in July, alleging that he infringed his patent for assembling multiple music videos with a single audio track.

In August, Triller said he had partnered with investment firm Centricus Asset Management Ltd in an offer on TikTok. ByteDance, however, said it was not engaged in such discussions.

Last month, Trump said he gave his preliminary blessing to a deal that would give a 20% stake in TikTok to computer network conglomerate Oracle Corp ORCL.N and retail giant Walmart Inc WMT.N . Negotiations were subsequently stalled as ByteDance claimed it would retain an 80% stake in TikTok, rather than hand it out to its investors.

TikTok is very popular with American teens, although its advertising business is still nascent. Large companies including Procter & Gamble Co PG.N, Danone DANO.PA and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG.N told Reuters last week that they would continue to spend on advertising with TikTok despite uncertainty over its to come up.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Greg Roumeliotis and Lisa Shumaker

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-11 14:36:10.

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