British carmaker Lotus Cars has formally announced plans to list its electric vehicle unit (Lotus Technology) on the Nasdaq in the United States. At present, Lotus Cars is 51% owned by Geely, with the remaining 49% owned by Etika Automotive, a subsidiary of Etika Strategy, which is owned by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who happens to control DRB-Hicom. Etika also has a smaller 30% stake in Lotus Technology.
In an official release, Lotus Tech said it will go public by forming a merger with special purpose acquisition company L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp (LCAA), with the latter having ties to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton founder Bernard Arnault, the world’s richest man as of January this year.
The combined company following the merger is valued at approximately USD5.4 billion (RM22.9 billion), taking into account the approximately USD288 million (RM1.2 billion) of cash in LCAA’s trust account.
All existing Lotus Tech equity holders, which include Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely), Etika Automotive and NIO Capital, are expected to retain their interest, collectively owning an 89.7% stake in the combined company. Meanwhile, Lotus Tech’s current leadership team led by CEO Qingfeng Feng will continue to lead the combined company.
Proceeds from the merger, which will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker ‘LOT’, are expected to be used to further product innovation, developing next-generation automobility technologies, global distribution network expansion and general corporate purposes.
Lotus Tech has already introduced the Eletre, with deliveries set to begin in China in Q1 of this year, with the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe to follow later in 2023. The fully electric SUV will also make its way to the United States and other markets in the future. Lotus Tech leverages Geely’s 150,000 annual unit capacity, dedicated EV manufacturing and integrated racing facility in Wuhan, China.
“In L Catterton, we have found a partner with an impressive track record of not only building iconic premium brands and creating value for companies by leveraging worldwide consumer expertise, but also bringing them to public markets and powering their long-term development,” said Qingfeng Feng, CEO of Lotus Tech (he is also the senior VP of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and CEO of Group Lotus).
“We expect the partnership to provide significant support as Lotus Tech expands globally, with promising brand collaboration and strategic partnership potential worldwide. We believe the proposed Business Combination and 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,” he added.
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