Industry News

Originally Published Dec 14, 2021

Story by Kevin Stone

PHOENIX – Footprint, the Gilbert company with naming rights to the Phoenix Suns’ arena, announced Tuesday that it’s agreed to become a publicly traded company through a merger.

The materials science business, which specializes in sustainable food packaging made from plant-based fibers, expects to be listed on NASDAQ as FOOT when the deal is finalized.

“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,” Troy Swope, Footprint co-founder and CEO, said in a press release.

“Today marks an exciting inflection point in our seven-year history inventing new materials that challenge the status quo.”

The company, which entered a multiyear naming rights deal with the Suns for Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix in July, will merge with Gores Holdings VIII.

The resulting company is projected to have a total enterprise value of $1.6 billion, according to the release. The deal, which is subject to the approval of Gores Holdings VIII’s stockholders, is expected to close in the first half next year.

Gores Holdings VIII is a special purpose acquisition company, aka a blank check company, formed by an affiliate of The Gores Group and taken public in March.

Footprint was founded in 2014 by Swope and Yoke Chung, former Intel engineers. It has more than $500 million of annual revenue contracted with customers such as Kraft, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble and Walmart, according to the release.

The company has its headquarters near Germann and Gilbert roads and employs more than 2,500 people in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Asia.