Metropolis Technologies, Inc. (“Metropolis”), a technology company whose computer vision platform enables checkout-free payment experiences, and SP® Plus Corporation (Nasdaq:SP) (“SP+”), a best-in-class technology and operations management provider of mobility services for aviation, commercial, hospitality, and institutional clients throughout North America and Europe, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Metropolis will acquire SP+ for $54.00 per share in cash. This represents a premium of approximately 52% to the SP+ closing stock price on October 4, 2023 and approximately 28% to its 52-week high for an aggregate enterprise value of approximately $1.5 billion.
Metropolis develops and deploys leading-edge computer vision technology that creates a “drive in and drive out” payment experience for consumers while increasing transparency, capturing revenue and reducing costs for real estate owners. To date, Metropolis has focused on bringing this checkout-free technology to its managed parking facilities, enabling top-tier real estate owners in 40+ major U.S. metropolitan centers to capture revenue from more than five million consumers who do not have to stop to pay. Metropolis was founded in 2017 and is led by Alex Israel, Travis Kell, Peter Fisher, and Courtney Fukuda.
SP+ is a best-in-class technology and operations management provider, with a long track record of bringing together innovative solutions with superior service. SP+ has over 20,000 team members who manage approximately two million parking spaces and provide services at over 3,300 commercial locations and over 160 airports. Through its Sphere Commerce technology solutions, SP+ offers clients a compelling value proposition and the ability to implement technology upgrades that enable frictionless transactions.
Metropolis and SP+ share a vision of enhancing the consumer experience utilizing technology while improving efficiencies. With the acquisition of SP+, Metropolis will be able to bring new capabilities to North America’s leading network with operations in over 360 cities, serving millions of consumers and processing over $4 billion in payments annually. This expanded market for checkout-free payment experiences offers new opportunities for property owners and managers to capture value and reduce inefficiencies.
“Today we announced a transformational acquisition that represents both a new paradigm in how technology companies grow and a significant step forward in offering consumers a remarkable experience,” said Alex Israel, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Metropolis. “SP+ is a phenomenal business whose operational excellence, talented leadership team and high customer satisfaction levels have long made it a key partner to real estate owners across North America. The combined platform will seek to bring checkout-free payment experiences to consumers.”
Israel continued, “While transforming the parking experience is our focus and priority today, as we deploy our proven technology we see opportunity to offer checkout-free transaction experiences at even more places people go. From gas and electric vehicle-charging stations to drive-thrus and car washes, as well as retail stores, our computer vision platform enables people to transact in the physical world with even greater ease than we experience online. We’re excited about the future with our new colleagues from SP+.”
“This transaction delivers immediate and certain value to our stockholders at a substantial premium to current and historical trading levels. We expect the transaction to offer an exciting path forward for our team members, partners, clients and consumers in the U.S. and abroad. While our technology offerings are successfully fulfilling client and market demand, with increased investment, we see the opportunity to accelerate the technology roadmap for the benefit of our clients and their customers,” said Marc Baumann, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SP+. “Combining with Metropolis will advance the pace of technology deployment, which will allow us to do more for existing clients and add new ones as we provide additional high-quality, cutting-edge client and consumer experiences.”
“Metropolis has built a thoughtful and differentiated platform that provides consumers with an efficient, frictionless experience,” said Tony Minella, Co-founder and President of Eldridge, an existing Metropolis investor that is leading the financing of the transaction. “We are excited to deepen our partnership with Alex and the rest of the Metropolis team and to support their efforts to accelerate the company’s vision, and are proud to work with a tremendous group of investors that will support the company’s growth.”
Metropolis has obtained commitments for equity and debt financing totaling $1.7 billion to complete the transaction, consisting of $1.05 billion in Series C preferred stock financing and $650 million of debt financing. These financing commitments are led by Eldridge and existing Metropolis investor 3L Capital, along with new investors including BDT & MSD Partners’ affiliated credit funds, Vista Credit Partners, and Temasek. Other existing investors, Slow Ventures and Assembly Ventures, participated. Metropolis will use the net proceeds to finance the acquisition of SP+, while retaining significant capital on its balance sheet.
The transaction is expected to close in 2024, subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and approval of SP+’s stockholders, as well as other customary closing conditions. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction, and the board of directors of SP+ recommends that SP+ stockholders vote in favor of the transaction. Upon completion of the transaction, shares of SP+ common stock will no longer trade publicly. Metropolis will continue to be founder-led and founder-controlled as a private company, with participation by other equity investors.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and BDT & MSD Partners, LLC are serving as financial advisors to Metropolis. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as placement agent on the Series C transaction, and Maranon Capital L.P. (an Eldridge affiliate) and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as joint lead arrangers on the debt financing. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Fenwick & West LLP are serving as legal advisors to Metropolis. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. is serving as financial advisor to SP+, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal advisor to SP+. Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal advisor to Eldridge.
Metropolis is an artificial intelligence company for the real world. Metropolis’ computer vision platform enables people to transact in the physical world with even greater ease than we experience online. Today, we are reimagining parking. Because it’s important, it’s everywhere, and impacts everyone – enabling millions of consumers to just “drive in and drive out” – that’s it. Tomorrow, we will power “checkout-free” experiences anywhere you go.
SP+ develops and integrates industry-leading technology with best-in-class operations management and support to deliver mobility solutions that enable the efficient and time-sensitive movement of people, vehicles, and personal travel belongings. With over 20,000 team members located throughout North America and Europe, SP+ is committed to providing solutions that make every moment matter for a world on the go.
Eldridge invests in businesses across the Insurance, Asset Management, Technology, Mobility, Sports & Gaming, Media & Music, Real Estate, and Consumer landscapes. The firm seeks to build and grow businesses led by proven management teams that have demonstrated leadership and experience to scale an enterprise. Eldridge is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, with additional offices across
the United States and in London. To learn more about Eldridge, please visit www.eldridge.com.
3L is a private equity firm that invests in emerging growth companies. The firm backs innovative founders and management teams across the Commerce, Enterprise Software and Tech-enabled Services landscapes, with a particular emphasis on opportunities where M&A and creative financing strategies can augment strong organic growth. 3L provides management teams with the capital, perspective, and relationships needed to become category leaders. The firm is based in Los Angeles and New York City. To learn more about 3L, please visit www.3lcap.com