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A deal for Colin Kaepernick’s SPAC unraveled because the former NFL star wouldn’t do TV press for it, report says

Colin Kaepernick.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

  • A deal for Colin Kaepernick’s SPAC to buy a financial services firm fell apart last week, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Sources told WSJ Kaepernick balked at requests to talk publicly about the pending deal with The Change Company. 
  • Change Company’s CEO told the Journal it would “proudly consider” a partnership with the former NFL quarterback. 

An agreement for Colin Kaepernick’s special purpose acquisition company to acquire a lender focused on underserved borrowers has fallen apart, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. 

Kaepernick’s Mission Advancement SPAC was on course to buy financial services firm The Change Company but Kaepernick wouldn’t do public speaking engagements about the pending deal, leading to the deal’s collapse last week, sources told the Journal. 

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback balked at requests from executives at The Change Company to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” television program and declined to participate in interviews as part of the rollout, the report said, citing an internal document.

The Change Company was founded in 2017 to expand access to lending and banking to Black and Latino borrowers and to people living in low-income communities. Mission Advancement went public in March and raised $345 million in an aim to purchase a socially conscious company. 

A Mission Advancement spokesman told the Journal it operates “with the highest ethical standards” and that will continue its work while it searching for a “great fit” for a merger in 2022.

“The Change Company would proudly consider a partnership with Mr. Kaepernick—yesterday, today, or tomorrow,” CEO Steven Sugarman said in a written statement last week in praising Kaepernick’s commitment to racial justice, the report said. 

Kaepernick hasn’t played in the National Football League since 2016, remaining unsigned by NFL teams after he kneeled during the national anthem before gameplay to protest against police brutality and racism in the US. 

Kaepernick has been part of this year’s boom in SPACs, or blank-check companies set up to acquire private companies to take them public. The process is generally considered less costly and time-consuming than the traditional route of initial public offerings. Sports figures including Shaquille O’Neal and baseball executive Billy Beane, celebrities, and politicians including former House Speaker Paul Ryan have backed a blank-check company.

Securities and Exchange Commissioner Gary Gensler earlier this month called for tougher rules around SPACs, saying he was concerned that SPAC investors don’t have the same protection as investors in traditional IPOs.

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