Exclusive: automaker Fisker plans to go public

(Reuters) – Electric vehicle maker Fisker Inc is in talks to release a sale to a so-called blank check acquisition company, modeled after a successful deal earlier this year by counterpart Nikola Corp NKLA.O, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Nikola’s shares have risen more than 60% since they went public last month thanks to such an agreement, as investors place bets on the start of the next Tesla Inc (TSLA.O). Earlier this month, autonomous vehicle technology company Velodyne Lidar agreed to be bought by blank check company Graf Industrial Corp (GRAF.N) for $ 1.6 billion, fueling a recovery in stocks. of the latter.

Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp (SPAQ_u.N), which is supported by private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc (APO.N), is waging a bid war between blank check companies for Fisker and may enter into an agreement for nearly $ 2 billion as early as next week, the sources said.

The sources requested anonymity as the talks on the deal are confidential. Fisker and Spartan declined to comment.

Spartan shares rallied to the news and rose 35% to $ 15.25 in the early afternoon in New York on Thursday.

Henrik Fisker, former Aston-Martin designer, launched the eponymous Los Angeles-based company in 2016 and plans to start selling the luxury electric SUV Fisker Ocean in 2022 at the starting price of $ 37,500.

Its previous auto company, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after spending $ 1.4 billion on private investment and taxpayer-funded loans. When presented as a Tesla rival, he ended up manufacturing less than 2,000 cars.

Fisker Automotive was bought from bankruptcy in 2014 by a renowned Chinese auto parts manufacturer Karma Automotive.

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Spartan raised $ 552 million in an initial public offering in 2018, saying it would focus on an acquisition in the energy sector in North America. He would use these funds and borrow money to finance the agreement with Fisker.

Tesla shares have risen 500% in the past year, as the company has increased sales of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV, pushing the company’s market capitalization beyond Toyota Motors Corp (7203.T) as the most valuable automobile manufacturer in the world.

Source: Reuters

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