A public Footprint

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Gilbert-based materials technology company Footprint International is merging with Gores Holdings VIII inc. and will go public on the Nasdaq stock exchange, according to a Tuesday announcement.

Footprint, which specializes in developing sustainable materials and products for commercial uses, also has the naming rights deal to the Phoenix Suns arena downtown — the Footprint Center.

Los Angeles-based Gores Holdings VIII, Inc is a special purpose acquisitions company that is already publicly traded. The category of companies offer alternative paths for private businesses who want to go public rather than a traditional IPO.

The combined companies will be named Footprint International Inc. and will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “FOOT”.

Footprint founder and CEO Troy Swope will lead the combined companies, according to a news release. The merger is valued at $1.6 billion, according to the companies. Gores Holdings is based in Los Angeles.

Footprint develops sustainable and plant-based solutions aimed to be an innovative alternative to plastics. The Gilbert company said it “has over $500 million of annual revenue contracted by its customers.”

The Footprint deal also includes investment backing from Koch Strategic Platforms — an arm of Koch Investments Group.

David Park, President of Koch Strategic Platforms, said: “Koch Strategic Platforms seeks to invest in leading companies with strong tailwinds. With Footprint, we have been impressed by the company’s innovative culture and strong traction with customers based on their unique plant-based solutions produced at compelling economics. We look forward to working with the Footprint team.”

Koch’s other investments include Georgia Pacific.

Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities are among the financial advisors in the Footprint deal.

Troy Swope, Co-Founder and CEO of Footprint, said: “Our mission is to create a healthier planet and step one is to design, develop and manufacture plant-based fiber solutions as an alternative to single-use plastics. Today marks an exciting inflection point in our seven-year history inventing new materials that challenge the status quo. In the Gores team, we have found a partner with a proven track record of bringing leading companies to the public markets and a shared commitment to global sustainability. The balance sheet strength of the combined company is anticipated to enable Footprint to expand our operations and geographic reach as we scale our technology to meet record customer demand.”

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