Lucid to go public via biggest SPAC deal to date

A string of electric-vehicle startups have all gone public in the past year via a so-called “reverse merger” with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) whose shares are already listed, and the latest to join the party is Lucid.

Lucid agreed on Monday to a merger with Churchill Capital Corp IV, whose shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal will see Lucid receive approximately $4.4 billion in cash and value the company at approximately $24 billion, making this the largest SPAC deal to date.

About 85% of Lucid is currently owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, or PIF for short. After the closing of the deal, the PIF is expected to still hold about 62% of the company.

Lucid Motors AMP-1 factory, Casa Grande, Arizona

Lucid Motors AMP-1 factory, Casa Grande, Arizona

Lucid has its headquarters in Newark, California, and a plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, which is due to start churning out the Air sedan later this year. The company has also teased the Gravity SUV and may eventually construct a plant in Saudi Arabia. It has about 2,000 staff presently in the U.S. and will add 3,000 more through 2022.

Heading Lucid is Peter Rawlinson who was an early engineer for the Tesla Model S. In a statement, Rawlinson said the new funding will help Lucid expand its Arizona plant as well as establish new businesses for licensing technology and offering energy storage solutions for residential, commercial and utility markets.

A string of EV startups have all gone public in the past year via reverse mergers, thus avoiding the complexity (namely regulatory requirements) of launching an initial public offering. The list includes Canoo, Faraday Future, Fisker, Lordstown Motors, Nikola, and REE. Another EV startup, Mullen Technologies, also plans to go public via a reverse merger, while Rivian is reportedly planning to do it the traditional way of launching an IPO.

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