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Aaron's at bat for business venture

Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is part of Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., which is raising capital to buy a sports-related business.
Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is part of Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., which is raising capital to buy a sports-related business.
W.A. Harewood, Associated Press

Hall of Fame baseball player Henry "Hank" Aaron and former Washington Nationals President Tony Tavares are among the executives involved in a company seeking to raise $200 million to buy a sports-related business including a professional team.

Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. also lists Medallion Financial Corp.'s Andrew Murstein, former National Football League quarterback and former Congressman Jack Kemp, and Randel Vataha of sports advisory firm Game Plan LLC, as officials in the company, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The New York-based company is a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which seeks to raise capital for a purchase which it hasn't yet identified. Sports Properties plans to sell 20 million units for $10, according to the filing dated Sept. 27. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one warrant that gives the owner the right to purchase a share for $7.50.

Besides teams, arenas, regional sports networks and fantasy sports Web sites, there are other areas the company would consider buying, Murstein said. He said he expects the offering to take place within 60 to 120 days.

Tavares declined to comment. Kemp and Vataha didn't immediately return calls for comment. A call to Aaron was referred to Murstein.

Sports Properties may be the first SPAC, or so-called blank-check company, to focus on sports, said Mitchell Littman, a lawyer with Littman Krooks LLP, who advises on these types of companies. "It's a financing technique that allows an experienced management team to have a pool of resources to go out and find an acquisition."

Sports Properties is seeking to acquire a majority interest in a sports, entertainment or leisure company within 24 months from the date of the offering, according to the filing. If the company fails to identify and complete a purchase, shareholders get their money back.

Listed among the risks are rules or guidelines by Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League on franchise ownership. The NFL and NHL don't allow public companies to own teams, the NBA requires an individual to hold at least 15 percent of the club and MLB prefers an individual to have at least 90 percent of the voting interest.

Murstein's firm, Medallion Financial, which provides loans to taxicab owners to buy license medallions, will own 18.1 percent of the shares outstanding after the offering and Tavares will have 1.1 percent. The other officers will hold less than 1 percent.