It's a lot more than initially thought.
The deal has been in the works for months and now it's finally happening. Lucid Motors has agreed to merge with a blank-check company, also known as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), to go public in a transaction worth approximately $24 billion. In January, it was estimated Lucid Motors was worth around $15 billion. The new deal will see shares offered at $15 each.
Led by financier Michael Klein, Lucid Motors will soon be in a position to better compete in the growing EV market. This deal should also generate about $4.4 billion in cash, which will be invested in bringing its vehicles to market and to expand its factory in Arizona. The Lucid Air all-electric sedan was unveiled last November and an SUV is in the pipeline.
Lucid Motors isn't the only EV automaker to go public with the SPAC method; Faraday Future, Nikola, and Fisker have done the same and more are expected to follow. This sort of reverse-merger works because SPACs exist only to raise sufficient capital through an IPO in order to merge with private companies. In turn, those companies are able to acquire liquidity using the public market.
Tesla, for example, followed the traditional IPO method back in 2010. Lucid does stand a good chance of success, unlike others. It's backed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and has been working closely with some top financial advisers.
If all goes to plan, the Lucid deal is expected to be finalized sometime this business quarter. Bear in mind Lucid's market capitalization is merely a fraction of Tesla's nearly $690 billion valuation. But it's also a pretty good sum for a luxury EV automaker that hasn't sold a single vehicle yet.
Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson has made clear his company is not a Tesla rival because its vehicles don't have mass-market appeal. They're far more exclusive and we wouldn't be surprised to see them eventually rival the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Lucid currently employs 2,000 people in the US and aims to add another 1,000 employees by the end of next year.