The explosion of nascent electric vehicle makers in the last few years has resulted in many of those automakers looking to go public through the use of special purpose acquisition companies with the latest also being the biggest: Lucid Motors.
The California-based EV maker is in the process of completing its manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona, but perhaps more importantly, its looking to tie-up the loose ends on a SPAC that could be valued at as much as $15 billion.
The EV maker, which many view as a viable competitor with Tesla, is already backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, but is also looking to strengthen its financial resources. It’s reportedly in discussions with Churchill Capital Corp. IV, led by former Citigroup Inc. executive Michael Klein. Thus far, Lucid and Klein have been mum about the possibility.
Lucid investigating a SPAC isn’t all that surprising given the recent expansive use of the “blank-check companies” to help bolster the funding for the companies that exit the process as well as initial investors in them.
Cash is likely a priority for the EV maker given its ambitious goals – it’s expected to begin production of the Lucid Air during the second quarter of this year – and Tesla’s stock price is on a seemingly never-ending trajectory upward, adding to its financial resources.
Lucid just completed construction on its first plant, meanwhile Tesla is simultaneously building new manufacturing sites in Germany and the U.S. – its third and fourth vehicle production sites, respectively – and adding on to its Shanghai Gigafactory.
While Lucid may be the biggest EV-maker SPAC thus far, it’s not the only one floating around the investor universe. Working into the later part of the range of its nine lives Faraday Future is reported to be in talks to merge with Property Solutions Acquisitions Corp., according to Bloomberg.
It’s hoping to pull together a deal worth $3 billion, with $400 million of that going to the struggling EV maker. The industry has seen so many SPAC deals in recent months with the deal between Fisker and Apollo Global Management Inc. Fisker merged with Spartan Energy Acquisition in a deal that reportedly netted the battery-car company $1 billion.
The company followed that up with new partnership with Magna International to provide the skateboard platform to power its new Ocean electric crossover and take a 6% ownership stake in the startup.
Other automotive SPAC deals include: Nikola Motors partnering with VectoIQ and netting more than $700 million from its merger; Lordstown Motors joining up with DiamondPeak Holdings and getting $675 million; and Canoo teaming with Hennessy Capital for an influx of $600 million. A SPAC offers plenty of advantages compared with a conventional initial public offering.
Getting the quick cash is obviously part of the appeal, but for a fledgling company or even a weathered one looking for assistance, they offer more than just funding, they get an advocate to help navigate the system.
As one executive told TheDetroitBureau.com on background, a SPAC deal can bring in “substantial” amounts of cash while taking less effort – and time – than would the traditional route to taking a company public.
According to the Harvard Law School forum on corporate governance, the SPAC run by the investment bank also takes on the responsibility for the registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, organizes a road show and underwrites the initial public offering.