(Reuters) – Lucid Motors on Monday agreed to go public by merging with Churchill Capital IV Corp, a blank-check firm backed by Wall Street dealmaker and former Citigroup banker Michael Klein, in a deal that valued the combined company at $11.75 billion.
The deal with Churchill Capital IV Corp includes a private investment of $2.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, funds managed by BlackRock and others. It is expected to provide Lucid with $4.6 billion in proceeds.
The California-based EV maker had said in August that it aims to start selling its first luxury model, Lucid Air, early this year. The electric sedan would be the first to achieve a 500-mile driving range, the company said. (https://reut.rs/3nBdh0I)
Lucid Air has a starting price of $77,400. But it would come down to $69,900 as customers may be eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500.
After the luxury electric sedan was priced, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk had in October last year announced a cut in the price of Model S Sedan. He tweeted, “The gauntlet has been thrown down!”
It was last year that other EV makers such as Nikola Corp and Fisker Inc went public through mergers with blank-check firms. Los Angeles-based EV firm Faraday Future Inc also announced a deal with a blank-check company to go public earlier this year.
Founded in 2007 by former Tesla Inc executive Bernard Tse and entrepreneur Sam Weng as Atieva Inc, Lucid had received initial funding from Chinese technology company LeEco, which is controlled by Faraday Future founder Jia Yueting.
Churchill capital Corp IV, the fourth special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by former Citigroup Inc banker Michael Klein, went public in a $1.8 billion initial public offering (IPO) in July last year.
SPACs are shell companies which raise money through an IPO to take another company public within two years.
Such mergers have become a popular alternatives for companies looking to go public, with over 200 SPAC deals collectively raising more than $70 billion in equity last year.
(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)