Electric car maker Fisker to go public at $2.9 billion valuation

Electric car maker Fisker will go public through a merger with a “blank check company” backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc at a valuation of $2.9 billion, the companies said on Monday.

Reuters reported last week that the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), known as Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp, was leading a bidding war among blank-check companies for Fisker.

Spartan’s shares rose 19.4% in premarket trade.

The deal will provide Fisker with $1 billion in gross proceeds, including $500 million of funds from existing and new investors such as AllianceBernstein and BlackRock Inc.

The proceeds will be used to bring the company’s first product, the Fisker Ocean, to production in late-2022.

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

“Prototype vehicles are expected to start durability testing by the end of this year,” Fisker said in a statement.

His previous automotive venture, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after burning through $1.4 billion in private investments and taxpayer-funded loans.

A SPAC uses proceeds from its IPO, together with borrowed funds, to acquire a company, typically within two years.

SPACs have been behind some of the most high-profile public listings of the last 12 months, including peer Nikola Corp, which went public last month, as investors place bets on which startup will be the next Tesla Inc.

Nikola shares are up more than 60% since their debut.