Selina, the experiential brand targeting Millennial and Gen-Z travelers, and BOA Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, have entered into a definitive business combination agreement that will result in Selina becoming a publicly listed company. The transaction values the pro forma company at an equity value of approximately $1.2 billion. It is expected to close in the first half of 2022 and the combined company will operate as Selina Hospitality plc, and its ordinary shares are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SLNA.”
Launched in 2015 by cofounders Rafael Museri, CEO, and Daniel Rudasevski, chief growth officer, Selina has secured a network of 134 properties across North and South America, Europe and the Middle East, of which 83 are open and operating. Since its inception, Selina has steadily grown its geographic reach by leveraging proprietary technology to identify underperforming hotels and transform them into cultural hubs through partnerships with local artisans, designers and food and beverage providers, in addition to introducing programming inspired by local experiences.
Selina has secured $350 million of committed capital from partners to expand its offering in 12 geographies, which is expected to add approximately 40,000 new beds to the Selina network by 2025. In addition to its pay-as-you-go offering, Selina has introduced an innovative subscription service—Nomad Passport—that allows guests to stay at any Selina location for as long as they’d like, with full amenities including accommodation, coworking, wellness activities and locally curated events.
“We are seeking to redefine the future of accommodation by creating a brand and curating experiences that strongly resonate with our customers,” said Museri. “Millennials and Gen-Z travelers are looking for authenticity and top-tier experiences at every step—they want to be immersed in the local culture of each location they visit. By partnering with local artisans to design culturally relevant and inspiring destinations, we’re creating opportunities for them to forge lifelong connections within the rapidly expanding Selina community. We’ve spent the last six years building and scaling an efficient and differentiated platform, and this transaction will enable us to bring Selina to more locations and travelers across the world.”
Brian Friedman, CEO, BOA, added, “Selina is cornering a large addressable market by providing accommodations and experiences that aren’t readily replicated. The platform is highly efficient with the capability to scale rapidly and produce attractive unit economics. The Selina brand transcends hospitality and has created a loyal community and lifestyle that customers want to belong to long after their first stay. The company has proven it can deliver for both its guests and its real estate partners. We anticipate Selina will continue to build on its significant growth in the coming years as the ability to work from anywhere propels travelers to experience the world in a way their elders never could—as digital nomads.”
Museri added, “We are experiencing greater demand than we did prior to COVID, and our new property offerings are indicative of how well the Selina brand is resonating with our target customers. Despite the challenges the pandemic has placed on global travel, our portfolio is exceeding our long-term targets, and we are excited about the next steps in our company’s evolution as a leading lifestyle brand and hotel operator.”
Selina expects to be EBITDA positive by the first quarter of 2023 and generate approximately $1.2 billion in revenue by 2025, driven by new openings, operational improvements and the maturation of its portfolio.
Key transaction terms
A group of institutional investors including South Light Capital (an affiliate of DigitalBridge), MORE Investment House and Sir Ronald Cohen, alongside BOA’s sponsor and founder-led stockholders, have committed $70 million of capital, which includes a $15 million minimum equity backstop from BOA’s sponsor. Of the total, $10 million will be an advanced PIPE funded concurrent with the announcement, strengthening Selina’s balance sheet as it rolls out new sites. There is approximately $230 million currently held in BOA’s trust account. Subject to any redemptions by BOA stockholders, existing Selina shareholders will retain approximately 71% ownership in the combined company.
The business combination is expected to provide Selina with $285 million (assuming no redemptions) of gross transaction proceeds to advance its mission to inspire meaningful connections. The company will use proceeds from the transaction to fuel its expansion across large urban markets globally, as well as invest in its proprietary technology and attract and retain high-quality talent.
The boards of directors for both Selina and BOA have unanimously approved the business combination. The transaction will require the approval of the stockholders of BOA and Selina and is subject to other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022.
PJT Partners is acting as financial and capital markets advisor to Selina, and BofA Securities Inc. is acting as capital markets advisor. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is acting as legal advisor. PJT Partners, UBS Investment Bank and BTIG LLC are acting as joint placement agents on the private placement.
UBS Investment Bank is acting as the lead capital markets advisor to BOA, while BTIG LLC is acting as capital markets advisor and King & Spalding LLP is acting as legal advisor.