VinFast on Monday completed a merger with listed company Black Spade Acquisition in a so-called SPAC deal, paving the way for the Vietnamese EV startup to start trading on the Nasdaq later today.
The merged company, known as VinFast Auto Ltd., will trade under the ticker symbol VFS. VinFast’s existing shareholders will own approximately 99% of the new company.
VinFast first announced plans for its SPAC deal in May. At the time, it said the merged company will have an equity value of more than $23 billion.
Also referred to as a reverse merger, a SPAC deal is where a private company goes public by being taken over by a company that’s already listed, typically one set up solely for the purpose, known in investor circles as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The advantage is that it avoids the complexity of launching an IPO, a route VinFast originally planned to pursue.
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Unlike rival EV startups, VinFast has deep pockets. It’s part of Vietnamese conglomerate VinGroup, which specializes in construction and real estate development but is also involved in agriculture, healthcare, retail, tourism and numerous other sectors. VinGroup founder Pham Nhat Vuong pledged $2 billion of his own fortune to see VinFast become a globally recognized company.
VinFast is also showing rapid growth. Despite only launching its first vehicle in Vietnam in 2018, the company has already earmarked the sale of five vehicles in the U.S. and started delivery of the first, the VF 8, earlier this year. It has also started construction of a plant in North Carolina, which is scheduled to come online in 2025.
Some of that growth may have been too fast, however, as the VF 8 has been widely panned by reviewers.
“Becoming a U.S.-listed company marks a significant milestone in VinFast’s global expansion,” Thuy Le, VinFast’s CEO, said in a statement. “More than just transaction on the stock market, going public reflects a powerful vote of confidence in our vision and potential, as well as fulfills our pledge to make smart, safe and environmentally friendly electric vehicles accessible to everyone.”