The previous CEO of TikTok is taking up the peloton for the general public by way of SPAC on Cheddar
The Beachbody Company hits the public markets in a three-way deal that values the fitness and nutrition businesses at $ 2.9 billion.
The company behind iconic fitness programs like P90X and 21-Day Fix wants to capitalize on the home fitness craze that drove Pelotons stock from $ 28 per share to the staggering $ 154 in just one price has year.
Beachbody is merging with Myx Fitness, a company that makes connected bicycles, and is taking over the reverse takeover of Forest Road Acquisition, already trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FRX.
“Ultimately, the merger with Myx is about creating this peloton for the masses,” Carl Daikeler, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Beachbody Company, told Cheddar. “A highly affordable, high-quality bike with content created by one company – Beachbody – that has produced some of the most memorable fitness brands over the past 20 years.”
Beachbody was exactly the kind of company that former TikTok boss and Disney executive Kevin Mayer wanted to approach as a strategic advisor at Forest Road.
Mayer said his brief three-month tenure as CEO of TikTok before pressure from the Trump administration led to his resignation amid geopolitical tensions with China had shown him the sheer power of social media and the impact influencers had on trade.
“One of the many things I saw on TikTok was the growth of what I will refer to as ‘social commerce’,” Mayer said. “Influencers who have a following use that following to promote products they believe in. And it has to be authentic to work.”
He points out that Beachbody has more than 400,000 coaches in the US that their followers can use to help sell the attached bike.
“You can create a very dynamic, viral growth engine for social commerce,” he said.
Mayer continued to reflect on his time at TikTok and expressed concern about the interference by the former Trump administration in the business he once ran, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.
At the time, then-President Trump requested the sale of the social media app to a US-based company because he feared it could compromise the privacy of American users. The order sparked a series of conversations that resulted in Oracle and Walmart coming up with an offer to buy TikTok, but ByteDance didn’t want to … bite. President Biden has since reversed the White House’s position on the matter.
“I thought that towards the end of the Trump administration the measures taken and the urgency with which they tried to shut down TikTok or put it on sale were way over the top,” Mayer said.
Believing that a bigger discussion of privacy should be taking place in Washington, Mayer says regulation can take place and should be a bipartisan effort.
“I don’t think a company has to be sold for that,” he said. “I don’t think this is the way to go, but I think rules and regulations should be put in place.”
Daikeler seems equally excited that this geopolitical debacle is behind Mayer, who will join Beachbody’s board of directors.
“It’s really like this dream team coming together and we’re really excited to make it happen with Kevin’s help,” he said.