Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson says EV In ‘enviable position,’ stock pops

Lucid Motors began buying and selling Monday on Wall Road right after finishing its SPAC merger. Under the ticker symbol LCID, the inventory jumped about 10% to far more than $26.

The merger with Churchill Capital Corp IV — a unique goal acquisition corporation designed by longtime investment banker Michael Klein — was officially announced in February and shares of the blank-look at firm immediately shed about 50 percent their worth. On speculation in the months primary up to the Lucid deal, Churchill Capital Corp IV had surged some 400% to an all-time large of $64.86.

The fairness worth of the deal paid current firm shareholders $11.75 billion. It also produced in excess of $4 billion in cash for enlargement strategies, including Lucid’s present manufacturing unit in Arizona.

The funding puts Lucid “in a pretty enviable situation” compared with rival Tesla, which secured about $226 million in its 2010 initial community featuring, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said Monday on “Squawk Box.” The ex-Tesla engineering executive stated the merger secures Lucid’s financial runway as a result of the finish of 2022.

“We do have a pretty illustrious roster of blue-chip institutional traders but we have captivated so much curiosity from the retail sector as well,” Rawlinson mentioned. “It truly is a testament to the appeal of our merchandise and our engineering that we’ve relished that posture.”

The reverse merger was approved in an extended vote by extra than 99% of organization shareholders, Klein stated in a convention phone Thursday.

The deal, which valued Lucid at an preliminary professional forma valuation of $24 billion, was the major among the identical transactions involving EV providers and blank-examine companies. Prior SPAC deals with EV get started-ups this sort of as Nikola, Fisker and Lordstown Motors earned valuations of significantly less than $4 billion.

Lucid experienced some trouble attracting cash till September 2018. That’s when Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth jumped in with funding. With an ownership stake of additional than 60% in Lucid, the kingdom’s Community Financial commitment Fund stands to make a just about $20 billion earnings on an investment decision of $2.9 billion, according to The Wall Street.

California-based Lucid expects to deliver its new electrical motor vehicle, the Lucid Air, in the next half of this yr soon after delays mostly due to the Covid pandemic. Rawlinson formerly told CNBC he expects the Air to pave the way for a lineup of long term all-electric motor vehicles, including an SUV, starting up generation in early 2023, and much more cost-effective automobiles down the line.

The corporation mentioned Monday it has 11,000 compensated reservations for Lucid Air designs.

“We are accelerating our factory to accommodate amplified volume. We’ve just began grading the site for a 2.7 million sq. foot growth,” Rawlinson claimed, incorporating that the merger enables “strategic, judicial expansion to increase our producing capability and to mitigate possibility as a company.”

As Tesla opens up its charging network to other makes, Rawlinson explained it would be a “excellent solution” for diverse EVs to work on just about every other’s networks.

Even though the corporation is launching its Aspiration product at $169,000, Rawlinson mentioned it hopes to make its other Air products extra reasonably priced in the near future. The Air commences at $69,000 soon after the federal tax credit history.

“I believe that that item defines brand names, not the other way around,” said Rawlinson, who joined Lucid as main technological know-how officer in 2013 and then CEO three a long time later on. “We need this transition in the direction of sustainable mobility, and that’s what our superior technological know-how can give.”