Top Amazon Aggregator Thrasio Delays SPAC Deal as Top Executives Exit

Katie Schoolov
  • Thrasio has put a SPAC deal on hold as it resolves issues with its financial audits, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
  • The company is among a burgeoning group of start-ups buying up promising Amazon sellers and storefronts, and using operational expertise to turbocharge sales.

Thrasio, the top U.S. aggregator of Amazon third-party sellers, was racing to the public markets to fuel its rapid expansion. But the company has delayed its plan to go public through a SPAC amid complications with its financial audits, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Thrasio had eyed completing a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company by the end of the year, before changing course over the summer, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans haven't been discussed publicly. The company could still pursue a SPAC, but is also considering other financing options, including a traditional IPO, the people said.

Turnover in the C-suite is adding to Thrasio's challenges. Chief Financial Officer Bill Wafford, a former J.C. Penney CFO, left Thrasio in July, just three months after joining the company. Thrasio said it appointed Brian Cooper, chairman of marketing company Networx, as its interim CFO

And last month, co-founder Josh Silberstein resigned from his role as co-CEO, leaving fellow co-founder Carlos Cashman to serve as the company's sole CEO.

Bloomberg reported in June that Thrasio was in talks to go public through a merger with a SPAC led by former Citigroup executive Michael Klein at a valuation that could top as much as $10 billion. The auditing process proved more difficult than for a typical e-commerce or tech company, because Thrasio now oversees more than 200 Amazon brands, creating a complex balance sheet, the source said.

Daniel Boockvar, Thrasio's president, confirmed to CNBC on Friday that the company has decided not to pursue a SPAC for the time being, though he said, "We never announced firm plans to go public via SPAC."

"Ultimately, our leadership team and our board looked at the market, which is no surprise, and decided that going public via SPAC is not the right choice at this time," Boockvar said in an interview. "We're growing our business amazingly well privately and that's exactly what we're going to continue to do."

Boockvar declined to comment on whether the company is considering an IPO or other financing options in the future, but said "all options are available to us."

Thrasio, which was founded in 2018, and its peers, like Perch, Heyday and Branded, scale up by buying promising products and storefronts, with the goal of using their data and operational expertise to turbocharge sales. At least 77 Amazon aggregators have raised roughly $10 billion in total since April 2020, according to Marketplace Pulse.

Last month, Thrasio said it raised $650 million in a senior debt facility, bringing its total debt and equity raised to more than $2.3 billion. It now oversees more than 200 brands with over 22,000 products across a range of categories, from skincare and camping equipment to home goods and fitness products.

Thrasio ranked 22nd on CNBC's Disruptor 50 list this year.

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