Lucid Motors will become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under a deal that will leave the electric vehicle startup with $ 4.4 billion in cash. The California startup, majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, plans to start shipping its first luxury electric vehicle – the 500-mile range Air sedan – later this year. An electric SUV is expected to follow in 2023.
Just as many other auto startups have done over the past year, Lucid Motors is skipping the traditional path to becoming a publicly traded company and instead merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Specifically, Lucid Motors is merging with Churchill Capital Corp IV, which is already listed on the NYSE. Bloomberg First reported that Lucid Motors and Churchill – which is led by investor Michael Klein, who crafted deals for Saudi Arabia in the past – were in talks in January.
About $ 2.1 billion of that money will come from Churchill. Some $ 2.5 billion will come from a new round of funding concomitant with the merger, which is anchored by Saudi Arabia, but includes BlackRock, Fidelity Management and others. The deal values Lucid Motors at $ 24 billion.
Led by Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer who helped bring Model S to life, Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 as Atieva. It was initially focused on battery technology, but ended up becoming an electric vehicle start-up a few years ago. Since then, the company has more than 2,000 employees and has begun construction of a $ 700 million plant in Arizona where the Air will be built.