Lotus Spins Off EV Division in $5.4 Billion SPAC Deal

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The EV subsidiary of Lotus Cars, Lotus Technology, is being spun off in an SPAC-style merger with Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp. (LCAA) that’s valued at $5.4 billion!

The legendary sports car company that the late, great Colin Chapman guided to Formula 1 glory in the 20th century remains incredibly relevant in the 21st century by producing both the world’s most powerful 2000 HP electric hypercar, and developing innovations in chassis design and vehicle handling dynamics that continue to drive companies like Polestar and laid the foundations for the early success of new industry giants like Tesla (the original Tesla Roadster was, of course, based on a Lotus Elise chassis — according to the company’s CEO, Elon Musk).

More recently, Geely, the Chinese corporation that owns Volvo and Polestar, purchased the storied brand. Its integration gave Lotus access to Geely’s economies of scale, and gave Geely unfettered access to Lotus’ engineers — especially those in the Lotus Technology division, and the spinoff of that division should make it easier for them to attract automotive clients by establishing a more distinct operating entity from Lotus Cars.

The move is also likely to benefit the Lotus Cars brand by providing some of the funding it requires to launch more of its exciting electrified products like the previously-mentioned 2000 HP Evija and the more “conventional,” 600 HP Eletere SUV.

“This is an exciting time for Lotus Tech as we work towards delivering our first fully electric hyper SUV, applying our innovation and engineering expertise to meet the rising global demand for luxury EVs,” said Mr. Qingfeng Feng, Chief Executive Officer of the company. “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.”

Over on the LCAA side, the executives seem similarly excited about the SPAC merger. “The global EV market is expanding rapidly, with the luxury segment growing at a faster pace than the broader industry. China, the EU, the UK, and the U.S. are expected to fuel the majority of this growth over the next decade as government policies in these regions provide further tailwinds for EV sales,” said Chinta Bhagat, Co-Chief Executive Officer of LCAA and a Managing Partner in the Asia fund of L Catterton. “Lotus Tech is well positioned to benefit from these dynamics, as it is a pioneer in the decarbonisation of luxury automobiles and its management team and R&D experts have demonstrated that they have the ability to lead the energy transition in the Company’s target segment and geographies. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with them to extend Lotus Tech’s technological and market leadership.”

The Business Combination transaction between Lotus Technology and LCAA values the Combined Company at approximately $5.4 billion (US), with $288 million of cash from LCAA’s trust account included under the assumption that none of LCAA’s public shareholders elect to redeem their shares. Proceeds from the Business Combination are expected to be used for further product innovation, something the company is calling “next-generation automobility technology development,” global dealer network expansion, and general corporate purposes (read: bonuses all-around, probably).

Source | Images: Lotus, via PR Newswire.

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