Franklin McLarty's MDH Cancels Merger With

Franklin McLarty's MDH Cancels Merger With
Franklin McLarty (Karen E. Segrave)

MDH Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company founded by Franklin McLarty and Beau Blair, has announced that its merger with of Chicago and its affiliate Paylink Direct is off. 

The $276 million blank check company, founded last year, and the online payment services and vehicle warranty company mutually agreed to cancel the deal, MDH (NYSE: MDH) said Monday in a news release.

Olive founder and CEO Rebecca Howard said canceling the merger was the best long-term strategy for both companies.

The merger, announced in July, would've taken Olive public as Olive Ventures Holdings Inc., with Howard as CEO and McLarty as chairman.

"The MDH team will continue to explore opportunities to support companies that have unrecognized value, room to grow, world-class management, and leadership in a sector where MDH has deep expertise and relationships," McLarty said in the release.

The companies parted ways on the same day that Westrock Coffee Co. LLC of Little Rock announced it was going public through a SPAC deal with Riverview Acquisition Corp. of Memphis. That deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2022.

SPACs find a private company in which to reverse merge — the private company joins the public SPAC and the newly combined company becomes a publicly traded business. The process has surged in popularity in recent years as a way for private companies to go public without the expense and hassle  of a traditional IPO.

The number of SPAC deals increased from 13 in 2016 to 613 in 2021, according to SPAC Analytics. This year, 55 SPAC deals have already been reported. 

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