By Brenda Goh
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Lotus Technology said on Tuesday that it will go public in the United States via a merger with special purpose acquisition company L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp in a deal that will value the combined group at $5.4 billion.
The valuation takes into account $288 million of cash in LCAA’s trust account, it said. LCAA raised $250 million when it went public in 2021.
Lotus Tech is the luxury electric vehicle maker division of sports car brand Group Lotus, which is in turn owned jointly by Chinese automaker Geely and Malaysia’s Etika Automotive.
The unit is headquartered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and produces cars through a partnership with Geely.
Lotus Tech’s existing shareholders, including Geely, Etika and NIO Capital, an investment firm founded by the CEO of Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio Inc, will retain their interests in the company and own 89.7% of it following the deal, it said.
The current leadership will also stay on and the company’s shares will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LOT”.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the combination of the businesses for product innovation and to expand its global distribution network.
“We expect the partnership to provide significant support as Lotus Tech expands globally, with promising brand collaboration and strategic partnership potential worldwide,” Lotus Tech’s Chief Executive Officer Feng Qingfeng said.
Lotus Tech plans to start deliveries of its electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) Eletre in China in the first quarter and then in Britain and the European Union later this year, it said, adding it has plans to expand deliveries to the United States and other countries.
Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse were among the advisors on the deal.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Kane Wu in Hong Kong; Editing by Jan Harvey, Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum)