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Liberty Media-backed SPAC prices IPO at $10 apiece to raise $500 mln – Financial Post



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Liberty Media Acquisition Corporation (LMAC), a blank-check company backed by Formula One-owner Liberty Media Corp, said on Thursday it priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $10 a share to raise $500 million.

The special acquisition purpose company (SPAC), which is due to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol “LMACU,” sold 50 million shares in its U.S. IPO.

SPAC – shell companies that raise money in an IPO to buy another company – was looking for a target in the media, music, entertainment, communications and technology industries.

Several high-profile investors such as Bill Ackman and Michael Klein raised billions through their SPACs last year.

LMAC’s management team will be led by Liberty Media Corp Chief Executive Officer Greg Maffei.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as joint book-running managers for the IPO. (Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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Former FC Barcelona officials detained after raid on soccer club, Spanish media report –



Catalan police detained several people after raiding Barcelona’s stadium on Monday in a search and seize operation, adding to the club’s turmoil less than a week before it elects a new president.

The operation was related to last year’s “Barcagate,” in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who were critical of the club and then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Police said detentions were made but did not say who or how many people were taken into custody. Spanish media said Bartomeu and other former club officials were among those detained.

Authorities spent several hours at the team’s headquarters searching documents and talking to employees.

The club, mired in debt of more than 1.1 billion euros ($1.68 billion Cdn), said it offered “full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation.”

It added the case was related “to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks.”

“The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case. FC Barcelona (expresses) its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation,” the club said.

The club did not mention Bartomeu.  A text message sent to Bartomeu was not immediately answered.

Key former officials detained

One of the three presidential candidates, Joan Laporta, told Lleida Radio that what happened on Monday “was a consequence of the bad management by the previous administration.”

He said news of Bartomeu’s reported detention was “shocking” and “not good” for the club, but said the former president deserved the “presumption of innocence.”

Laporta was Barcelona’s president a decade ago and, like Bartomeu, also faced a no-confidence vote during his time in charge.

Among those reportedly detained were club CEO Oscar Grau and legal department chief Roman Gomez Ponti. Jaume Masferrer, Bartomeu’s former chief of staff, also was allegedly detained.

Police say several people were detained but did not say who or how many were taken into custody. (AP/Joan Monfort)

They were taken to a police station for interrogation, Spanish media said, and police also went to Bartomeu’s house searching for evidence. 

Court officials said a judge ordered the search and seize operation but the detentions were made at the discretion of the police agents involved. Authorities said the operation was being carried out by the police’s financial crimes department.

A period of struggles

Barcelona has denied accusations that it hired – and overpaid – a company to make negative comments about its own players and opponents on social media in order to boost the image of senior club officials.

The company was accused of using fake social media accounts to discredit opposition figures when they expressed views that went against the club. Some of the figures were reported to have included players such Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, as well as former coach Pep Guardiola.

The club later released an independent audit report showing that there was no wrongdoing.

Bartomeu and his board of directors resigned last year amid fallout from the controversy surrounding Messi. The club has been mired in political turmoil and debt prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The club has been managed by a caretaker board since Bartomeu left in October while facing a no-confidence motion supported by thousands of club members furious at the team’s poor performances and the club’s financial situation.

The club’s struggles began to surface after the team’s embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season, which was the first without a title for the Spanish club since the 2007/08 season.

Bartomeu was loudly criticized by Messi, especially after the former president denied the player’s request to leave the club at the end of last season. Messi’s contract ends this season and the Argentine great has yet to say whether he will stay or go.

Barcelona is five points off the Spanish league lead. It lost at home to Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League and was beaten by Sevilla 2-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.

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Social Media Reactions To Donald Trump's CPAC Speech – Forbes



On Sunday night, the 78th Golden Globe Awards honored the best in American television and film as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. However the real show, according to social media, had taken place hours earlier across the country in Orlando, Florida at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). It marked the first time former President Donald Trump spoke to followers since President Joe Biden took office in January, and just weeks after Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial.

Also quite notable was that it was a stark departure from protocol, in which former presidents largely stay silent on matters related to the sitting president. Instead Trump offered a strong criticism of Biden and suggested U.S. policy had gone from “America first to America last.”

CPAC is the largest meeting of conservative activists and politicians in the United States, and it generally serves as a portent to the direction the Republican Party is headed. Based on the reception Trump received at the event, and on social media – it is clear that Trump will remain a dominant force.

Moreover, Trump made it quite clear that he wasn’t interested in forming a new party, but instead would work to unite Republicans and help take back control of Congress including the Senate and House of Representatives.

Based on social media it seems clear that Trump’s supporters aren’t looking to move to past his era and instead could be looking forward to the 2024 campaign. While former President Trump didn’t actually announce that he’ll be running again, his words could be inferred to suggest that Trump is up for a rematch with Biden – and told his followers he’d be ready to win for “third time” – insisting again that voter fraud played a factor in his loss to Biden in November.

Social Media Support

Since the November election, Twitter and other platforms have largely been filled with tweets and posts calling for Trump’s impeachment, conviction and arrest, while others have been hoping Trump would simply go away. However, after the CPAC speech, it seemed that his followers have been energized in ways not even seen during the run up to the election.

Actor/comedian Terrence K. Williams (@W_terrence) was among Trump supporters who praised the former president’s speech.

Reporter Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) noted the number of viewers who tuned in to watch Trump’s CPAC address.

There were also many who noted that CPAC scored higher ratings than Sunday evening’s Golden Globes ceremony on NBC.

Critics Will Remain Vocal

There were a fair number of detractors on social media on Sunday and Monday, as well. Among them was Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder), president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who tweeted, “Donald Trump is not only maintaining the lie that he won the 2020 election, but his supporters are using that lie to justify restricting voting and democracy. That makes passing HR1, the For the People Act, which protects voting and democracy, more urgent.”

There was also no shortage of memes that poked fun at the former president while others attempted to compare CPAC to a white nationalist event.

What is clear from the response on Sunday and Monday is that Trump remains largely at the head of the U.S. conservative movement, and his supporters continue to stand by him. Given this support, it is unlikely that Biden’s calls for unity can come to fruition – half the country is standing by the other guy, while Biden’s own supporters still seem unwilling to compromise with anything the GOP has to say.

The uncivil war will likely continue to rage on, especially on social media.

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The Best Mixed-Media Paper Pads for Ink, Paint, Collage, and More – ARTnews



Working with different media on the same paper can present problems. To get fine detail and depth of shading with ink and graphite, you need a relatively smooth surface. But to work well with wet media like paint, your sheet should have sufficient tooth, or texture, to hold the pigment. That’s where a great mixed-media paper comes to save the day. The recommendations that follow have the right thickness, tooth, and brightness to stand up to whatever you lay down, and they come in handy pads for easy use, transport, and storage.

1. Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Pad

These heavy-duty, 184-pound sheets are extremely high quality. The vellum surface, with a medium tooth, grabs dry media but also does well with watercolor and gouache. It won’t buckle even under layers of paint. The design of this pad is well thought out, too: The sheets stay firmly in the glue-bound pad but tear out cleanly and easily, and the cover flips all the way over and stays out of the way while the pad is in use. These top-of-the-line sheets are a great choice for presentation-ready artwork.

2. Canson XL Mixed Media Paper

For an excellent economical option, we love Canson’s mixed-media paper, which is acid free and has a weight of 98 pounds. It can be used with both dry and wet media, though it’s best suited for projects that are mostly dry with a light addition of paint. (In fact, with charcoal it works better than some top-shelf papers.) 

3. Pacon UCreate Mixed Media Journal

This spiral-bound sketch pad will likely meet or exceed the needs of every budding artist. The inexpensive pad contains 50 sheets of 72-pound paper. Each acid-free page is bright white and holds both wet and dry media, with a surface smooth enough to be pleasant for sketching. The pad’s heavy chipboard back allows users to draw on the go, then finish with paint or whatever else they choose later. Keep in mind that the pages are not perforated; this is meant to be a practice pad. 

4. Bellofy Artist Pro Series Mixed Media Pad

This hefty pad provides page after page of artistic potential. At 98 pounds, the 100 sheets are heavier than those in the Pacon pad but lighter than Fabriano’s, still a good weight for heavier media. Though the paper is spiral-bound, the pages are micro-perforated, ready to be removed for finished artwork. The porous paper absorbs paint and ink readily, which means smudging is kept to a minimum. The downside of this perk is that the paper has a greater tendency to start to pull apart than some of the competition.

5. Fabriano Fat Mixed Media Pad

Like Italian cars and Italian coffee, Fabriano’s made-in-Italy paper feels luxurious. The heavyweight (108-pound) sheets are bright white and smooth (the back feels marginally smoother), allowing sharp details with a drafting pencil and delightful depth of shading with charcoal. With some heavy washes or layers of paint, the paper will warp, but it then flattens out. As an extra, the paper is eco-friendly, made not just with sustainably sourced wood pulp but also with hydropower. 

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