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Monday, May 9, 2022

Grindr to go public in $2.1 bln SPAC deal

(Reuters) - Gay dating app Grindr said on Monday it would go public through a merger with a blank-check acquisition firm - a deal that values it at $2.1 billion and features Tiga Investments CEO Raymond Zage on both sides of the transaction.

Grindr said its existing shareholders would own 78% of the company after the merger, which comes two years after China's Kunlun Tech Co (300418.SZ) divested it for $620 million due to U.S. national security concerns.

While Grindr did not disclose the identities of its existing shareholders, Reuters previously reported that Zage had a 41% stake in the consortium that acquired Grindr. A source familiar with the matter said on Monday that Zage continues to be an investor in Grindr.

Tiga Acquisition Corp (TINV.N), the Singapore-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will merge with Grindr, is controlled by Zage.

Under the deal, Grindr will receive $284 million in cash from Tiga and up to $100 million in a forward purchase agreement.

Grindr and Tiga expect that their deal may require clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which scrutinizes deals for potential national security risks, according to a copy of their merger agreement that was made public on Monday.

CFIUS ordered Kunlun to sell Grindr in 2019 over concerns that the personal data of U.S. users could be accessed or exploited by China's government.

It could not be learned if CFIUS had a role in Grindr's decision to explore a sale and merger with a SPAC. A spokesperson for the U.S. Treasury Department, that chairs CFIUS, did not respond to a request for comment.

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