NextNav Holdings LLC is nearing a combination with a special-purpose acquisition company that would take the next-generation GPS firm public and value it at about $1.2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Founded in 2007, NextNav says its platforms can locate a device’s specific indoor positioning, including what floor of a building it is on. Vertical positioning data are a focus for regulators to improve responses to 911 emergency calls in urban areas and could also have consumer applications in sectors like gaming and transportation that require a device’s specific location. NextNav owns licenses to use wireless airwaves that support nationwide telecom networks.
The McLean, Va., company is close to a deal to merge with the SPAC Spartacus Acquisition Corp. , the people said. Spartacus is focused on deals in the technology, media and telecom industries. The combination is expected to be announced in the coming days.
NextNav is expected to generate roughly $410 million in cash through the deal from the money held by the SPAC and a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, associated with the merger, they said. PIPE investors in the deal are expected to include Koch Strategic Platforms, a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group, and funds managed by Fortress Investment Group.
Existing NextNav investors include funds managed by Fortress and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. XM Satellite Radio founder Gary Parsons is the chairman of NextNav’s board.