We are a blank check company newly incorporated as a Cayman Islands exempted company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities, which we refer to throughout this prospectus as our initial business combination. We have not selected any business combination target and we have not, nor has anyone on our behalf, initiated any substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with any business combination target. Our sponsor, Spitfire Sponsor LLC, is an affiliate of Jaws Estates Capital, the family office of Barry S. Sternlicht.
Our company is named after the famous Spitfire fighter aircraft used by the British Royal Airforce (RAF) during the Battle of Britain in WWII. A smaller and nimbler “dream plane”, the Spitfire’s outstanding handling and performance capabilities were second to none and beloved by pilots. The Spitfire technology was a key competitive advantage of the RAF, which led to Britain handing Germany its first major defeat in WWII, marking a turning point in the conflict. We chose this name because we endeavor to be like the Spitfire, a purposefully designed, smaller and nimbler SPAC that can outmaneuver in the competitive landscape to effect a world-class business combination.
Founder & Chairman
Founder, Chairman, and CEO Starwood Capital Group
Mr. Sternlicht, our Chairman, is a well-known entrepreneur and operator with an extensive deal-making history. He founded Starwood Capital in 1991, serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Starwood Capital is a private alternative investment firm focused on global real estate, hotel management, oil and gas and energy infrastructure with over $80 billion of assets under management...as of March 31, 2020. Through Starwood Capital, Mr. Sternlicht has created several multi-billion dollar public market companies, ranging from traditional real estate to branded hospitality.
Throughout Mr. Sternlicht’s career, he has focused on capitalizing on emerging consumer trends; either directly via core operating assets or indirectly through Starwood Capital’s real estate portfolio. He has also executed several marquee public market transactions to enhance the scale of his core platform—including the creation and expansion of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), the consolidation of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (formerly NYSE: HOT), the spin-off and growth of Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH) and the formation of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR). Similarly, he has been involved in numerous private market consumer businesses as an early investor.
Mr. Sternlicht currently serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STWD, a leading, diversified real estate finance company with over $3 billion in market capitalization; and one of the first mortgage REITs launched post-crisis. Since inception in 2009, Mr. Sternlicht guided STWD through a steady evolution with over $61 billion in deployed capital, evolving from a pure-play commercial lender to a diversified commercial REIT with residential lending, commercial mortgage servicing, property ownership and infrastructure lending.
Mr. Sternlicht also has deep operating expertise, serving as the Chairman, from January 1995 through May 2005, and as the Chief Executive Officer, from January 1995 through September 2004, of HOT; a period in which the share price appreciated at a compound annual growth rate of 16%. Over his tenure as Chief Executive Officer, he grew the total market capitalization of HOT to approximately $10 billion. As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sternlicht executed several key acquisitions, including Westin Hotels, Patriot American and ITT Corp., and led the development of the W Hotel concept.
Outside of his public market experience, Mr. Sternlicht has made a variety of investments in the consumer sector. Most notably, he has acquired or founded a number of independent hotel chains, including Baccarat Hotels, 1 Hotels and Treehouse Hotels, which are operated by SH Hotels & Resorts, a hotel brand management company and an affiliate of Starwood Capital. In addition to these investments, Mr. Sternlicht has invested in various consumer facing companies, including ThirdLove, a women’s clothing brand, Lytro, a developer of light-field cameras, and Lyric, a hospitality platform for business travelers.
Mr. Sternlicht’s other public market experience includes:
- Serving as a Director of INVH, the largest publicly-traded investor, owner and operator of single-family homes in the U.S. INVH was formed via the spin-off of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust from STWD in 2014; and the subsequent mergers with Colony American Homes and Invitation Homes;
- Serving as a Director of The Estée Lauder Companies, a multinational manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, since 2004;
- Serving as a Director of A.S. Roma, the professional Italian football club based in Rome, since 2014;
- Serving as the Chairman of the Board of Baccarat, S.A., a French manufacturer of fine crystal glassware located in Baccarat, France, from 2005 to 2018;
- Serving as Chairman of TRI Pointe Group (NYSE: TPH), a leading builder of new homes, from the initial public offering, or IPO, until 2017, including through its $2.8 billion merger with Weyerhaeuser Company in 2014;
- Serving as a Director for Restoration Hardware (NYSE: RH), a luxury brand in home furnishings, from IPO in 2012 through 2014;
- Serving as Chairman of iStar (NYSE: STAR; formerly Starwood Financial), the manager and largest owner of Safehold (NYSE: SAFE), which specializes in ground leases. Mr. Sternlicht served as Chairman until 2001; subsequently serving as a Director until 2003;
- Serving as a Director of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR) from 1993 through 1998 after contributing a portfolio of apartment buildings in return for a 20% stake.
Chief Executive Officer
Matthew Walters, our Chief Executive Officer, is currently a Managing Director at JAWS Estates Capital, a public and private direct investing focused single family office (“Jaws”). He directs the private investment strategy with a particular emphasis on the consumer and technology sectors for Jaws. Jaws representative investments include Artsy, Away Luggage, Color Genomics, Delos Living, Didi, Domino’s China, Flaschenpost, Flipkart, Hyperloop, Illumio, Pre-IPO Lyft, Oscar Health, Oyo Rooms, Parachute Home, Qualia, Sarcos Robotics,...Sweetgreen, Third Love and Wish. Prior to joining Jaws, Mr. Walters spent his entire career at L Catterton, the largest, most global consumer-focused private equity firm, where he worked on sourcing and investment strategy for both the buyout and growth oriented funds. Mr. Walters sits on the board of Sempre Life and is a board observer at Bluestone Lane and Parachute Home. Mr. Walters received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in Finance from Fairfield University.