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Friday, Sep 22, 2023

Faraday to Go Public in $3.4 Billion Deal

Electric vehicle company Faraday & Future Inc. has announced plans to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, merger. 

Faraday said that its combination with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp., which was announced Jan. 28, will take the company public at a $3.4 billion valuation and net the business roughly $1 billion in proceeds.

The Gardena-based automaker will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker “FFIE” following the merger’s close in the second quarter of this year.

Faraday has arguably been better known for its financial woes than for its products in recent years. Founded in 2014 by Chinese technology entrepreneur Yueting Jia, the company launched with lofty goals which included outcompeting incumbent Tesla Inc. in the electric vehicle market. 

Over subsequent years, rapid cash burn and a series of financial blunders left the company’s future in doubt. Jia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019 to address his accumulated $3.6 billion in personal debt and resigned from his role as chief executive at Faraday, taking on the role of chief product and user officer.

Although Faraday spun the bankruptcy plan’s approval last year as a win for the company, many remained skeptical about the business’ competitive potential. The current SPAC merger indicates that at least some investors still have confidence in the company’s future.

Also known as blank-check companies, SPACs are business entities that have no operations of their own. They are created to raise funds through initial public offerings. Managers then use the funded vehicle to acquire a target business looking to go public in a reverse merger.

Only $230 million of net proceeds expected from the SPAC deal will come directly from the Property Solutions SPAC. The majority, $775 million, will come from a private placement in public equity, or PIPE, investment accompanying the merger. The PIPE’s main investors include a major Chinese automaker and other unspecified “long-only institutional shareholders.”

Faraday intends to use the capital generated from the deal to fund production of its luxury electric SUV, the FF 91. The company plans to finish building out its factory in Hanford and roll out the FF 91 within a year of the merger’s close.

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