China-based Lotus Technology valued at $7.6 billion as it merges with SPAC firm for Nasdaq listing.
Lotus Technology, the non-sports car arm of Lotus Group, will go public in a merger with a special acquisition company (SPAC) that will see it listed on the New York Nasdaq exchange, the company said.
The deal would value the company at around $5.4 billion (AUD$7.6bn), Lotus Technology said in a statement.
Lotus Technology, aka Lotus Tech, is majority owned by China’s Geely Holding with other shareholders including Malaysia’s Etika and Nio Capital, an investment arm of the Chinese carmaker Nio.
The listing will help raise money for future development. “We believe the listing will help position Lotus Tech as a leading global luxury EV company and will enable us to further execute our strategy, accelerate our growth, and importantly, further our mission to steer the industry towards a more sustainable future,” said Qingfeng Feng, CEO of Lotus Tech.
Lotus Tech will merge L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp, a SPAC company listed for the purpose of merging with another company.
Lotus Tech will begin deliveries of its first car, the Lotus Eletre SUV, in the first quarter of this year in China, with Australian, UK and European sales following later in the year. The company will also sell the car in the US.
Lotus Group told investors last year that it plans to sell 100,000 cars per year by 2028, of which 90,000 will be electric saloons and SUVs produced by Lotus Technology.
The company initially favoured an IPO (initial public offering) over the SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) method of listing that was recently employed by Geely stablemate Polestar.
The decision to list Lotus Technology and not Lotus Cars, which focuses on the brand’s traditional sports car business, is down to the ownership structure of the divisions, the company said last year.
Lotus Tech will follow the launch of the Eletre with a Porsche Taycan-size electric saloon codenamed Type 133 this year and then a “ground-breaking” smaller SUV in 2025.
The electric SUVs and sedan will be built in a new £900 million (AUD$1.56bn) factory in Wuhan, China. The Geely-owned plant has the capacity to build 150,000 cars per year for sale in China and globally.
Lotus’s transformation from struggling maker of niche sports cars to potential global rival to Porsche began in 2017, when Geely bought a majority stake and vowed to overhaul it.
Geely’s investment of more than £1.5bn included a major upgrade of Hethel, the addition of a design centre in Coventry and a new technical hub in Frankfurt, Germany.
Lotus CEO Matt Windle described the extent of the transformation as something “never undertaken in the automotive industry before”.