Lucid Motors is going to become a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in a deal that will leave the electric vehicle startup with $4.4 billion in cash. The California startup, which is 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 slated to follow in 2023.
Much like many other startups in the automotive space have done over the past year, Lucid Motors is skipping the traditional path to becoming a publicly-traded company and is 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 run by investor Michael Klein, who has architected deals for Saudi Arabia in the past — were in talks back in January.
Roughly $2.1 billion of that cash will come from Churchill. Some $2.5 billion will come from a new round of funding running concurrently 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 the Model S to life, Lucid Motors was founded way back in 2007 as Atieva. It was initially focused on battery technology, but ultimately pivoted into becoming an electric vehicle startup a few years ago. It has since grown to more than 2,000 employees and begun construction on a $700 million factory in Arizona where the Air will be built.
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