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UK electric vehicle maker Arrival is going public via SPAC at a $5.4 billion valuation

Published Wed, Nov 18 20208:15 AM ESTUpdated 4 Hours AgoRyan Browne@Ryan_Browne_Key Points

  • Arrival is set to combine with CIIG Merger Corp, a SPAC set up by former Remington and Marvel CEO Peter Cuneo.
  • The deal gives Arrival an enterprise value of $5.4 billion, with the combined company expected to raise a total of $660 million.
  • Arrival competes with Rivian, a company that has won backing from Amazon, in the electric van space.

Arrival

LONDON — British electric vehicle start-up Arrival announced Wednesday that it will go public through a merger with a U.S. blank-check company.

This year has seen a flurry of SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, come to market as businesses have shunned the traditional initial public offering process. SPACs are companies that raise funds to finance a merger deal that takes the target firm public.

In Arrival’s case, the London-based company is set to combine with CIIG Merger Corp, a SPAC set up by U.S. businessman Peter Cuneo. Cuneo previously ran the American personal care brand Remington and comic book publisher Marvel as CEO. He will join Arrival’s board as non-executive chairman, while founder Denis Sverdlov will remain as CEO.

The deal gives Arrival an enterprise value of $5.4 billion — it was last privately valued at 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in January — with the combined company expected to raise a total of $660 million in gross cash proceeds. Arrival will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “ARVL,” with the deal expected to close by early 2021.

What is Arrival?

Arrival competes with Rivian, a company that has won backing from Amazon, in the electric van space. It received a massive order to the tune of 10,000 vehicles from U.S. parcel service UPS, which is also an investor in the company. Arrival’s other backers include Hyundai, Kia and BlackRock.

Arrival says it stands out from other electric vehicle makers as it’s purely focused on the commercial market rather than selling to consumers. Founded in 2015, Arrival says its technology is “vertically integrated” all the way from production to development.

Its two main vehicle products are vans and buses. Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s president, told CNBC that it expects to start production on its bus in the fourth quarter of next year, while van production will begin in the second quarter of 2022.

“Our technology is at a maturity level where we’re looking to scale the company rapidly now,” Rugoobur told CNBC in an interview Wednesday.

‘Microfactories’

Rugoobur added that the rise in the market value of Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla — which is now the world’s most valuable automaker — was a validation of the green energy transition. Arrival’s vehicles can be sold for a price point similar to — and even cheaper than — that of diesel vehicles, he said.

Another thing that the company says makes it unique is its production model. The firm has developed what it calls “microfactories” which are much smaller than traditional auto production lines and can be packed into existing warehouse real estate.

It is aiming to make three to four of these factories — which take up about 20,000 square meters of space and cost $45 million to make — per year. The firm expects to make 10,000 vans a year from each factory.

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Forbes Hype

Founded in 2015, Arrival’s public listing plans come on the heels of a $118 million infusion from BlackRock in October and $110 million investment from Hyundai and Kia early this year, which together had raised its valuation to $3.5 billion, according to PitchBook. Joining with CIIG will generate $660 million of cash for the London-based company, including $260 million from the SPAC and $400 million raised from a private equity offering. Fidelity, Wellington Management, BNP Paribas and BlackRock participated in the offering.

Arrival is already building its first two $50 million “microfactories,” one in England and another in South Carolina, and the opportunity to go public in next year’s first quarter means it can focus on getting products to market on time rather than continuing to raise money. It will trade with the ticker ARVL.

“We’re going to be cash flow positive in 2023. The amount we’re raising right now is enough to support growth until we get profitable,” Sverdlov tells Forbes. “Actually having the secured funds and focusing on delivering is a better strategy than always choosing this path of getting more funds. It will allow us as management to be focused on the operations.”

Arrival-nasdaq-listing
UPS has ordered up to 10,000 electric Arrival vans and has options for a further 10,000. Arrival

The company is the latest EV or automotive tech startup to join 2020’s SPAC-funding wave that includes lidar makers Velodyne, Luminar and Aeva, hydrogen truckmaker Nikola and electric vehicle startups Fisker, Canoo and Lordstown Motors. And though Arrival isn’t yet generating revenue, it has orders for 10,000 battery-powered commercial vans from delivery giant UPS worth $1 billion and expects to have customer announcements for electric transit buses that will be built at its South Carolina plant from late next year. 

More Hype

All the other wannabe successful SPAC’s out there listening, copy exactly what Arrival did here

  • Every 2 hours major headline popped
  • Every 1 hour Twitter Update
  • Encouragement to Ask Questions = Customer Engagment
  • New Website updates WITH videos
  • New Pictures
  • Play the big boy Fiddle Non Public News FIRST ( people want what they can’t have.)
  • We Got the Investor Presentation Same hour of public release of LOI

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