Bird Rides Inc., the Santa Monica-based electric scooter company that tabled aggressive expansion plans during the pandemic, said May 12 it will become a publicly traded company through a merger with a Dallas-based blank check company run by oil and gas executives looking for a clean energy combination.
The combination would value the scooter company at $2.3 billion with Bird listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will be renamed Bird Global once the deal closes in the third quarter, according to information provided by Bird.
The acquisition represents the second clean energy-related move in four months by the Texas executives. In January, they acquired ChargePoint, the nation’s largest network of electric vehicle charging stations, a business combination that valued ChargePoint at $3 billion, including $683 million in cash.
In his Bird Cities blog, Bird Rides founder and Chief Executive Travis VanderZanden disclosed that his scooter company will go public through a merger with Switchback II, a SPAC formed by NGP Energy Capital Management and RSP Permian executives that targets the clean energy sector.
“This is the next significant step on our journey to provide the world with safe, eco-friendly transportation,” VanderZanden said.
In January, the Switchback II blank check company, also known as a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, raised $275 million and targeted a company “excelling in decarbonization innovation to achieve a worldwide objective of net-zero emissions.”
The combined entity would have access to $428 million in cash from private investors, and another $160 million from Fidelity Management & Research Co. and others.
Bird also would have access to $40 million in financing from specialty finance companies Apollo Investment Corp. in New York and MidCap Financial Trust in Maryland.
Switchback II is led by co-CEOs and directors Scott McNeill and Jim Mutrie.
McNeill previously served as the chief financial officer of RSP Permian Inc. when the energy firm merged with Concho Resource Inc. in a $9.5 billion deal in 2018.
Mutrie most recently served as vice president and general counsel of RSP. The company plans to focus on the energy technology arena, specifically targeting industries that meet critical emission reduction objectives.