EV maker Lotus Tech closes up modestly in Nasdaq debut after SPAC merger

By Thomson Reuters Feb 23, 2024 | 3:29 PM

By Echo Wang and Lance Tupper

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of Lotus Technology closed up 2% in their Nasdaq debut on Friday, recouping earlier losses, after the luxury electric car maker completed its merger with a blank-check acquisition company backed by private equity firm L Catterton.

The American Depositary Shares, which began trading with the new ticker “LOT”, ended at $13.80 after falling as low as $10.12. About 190,000 shares traded. The SPAC closed at $13.51 on Thursday.

Lotus Technology was valued at about $7 billion in the deal with L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp, the special purpose acquisition company backed by Catterton. It is part of British sports car maker Lotus Group which is in turn owned jointly by Chinese automaker Geely and Malaysia’s Etika Automotive.

Lotus Technology is headquartered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and produces cars through a partnership with Geely. It designs, develops and sells luxury lifestyle EVs under the British brand Lotus founded in 1948.

“At this point in time, being able to access capital market through the IPO… is an acceleration for Lotus to expand globally,” said Qingfeng Feng, chief executive officer of Lotus Tech.

Similar to other SPAC mergers, about 97% of LCAA shareholders redeemed their shares, leaving the trust’s account with roughly $11 million. Typically, a stock is prone to volatility if only a small amount of shares are publicly available.

Lotus Technology has launched two EV models, including its first fully electric sports utility vehicle, Eletre. The model started delivery in China in 2023 and followed in the UK and the European Union, the company said. It is expecting to deliver cars in the U.S. later this year.

The company secured $870 million in financing ahead of its merger with LCAA.

(Reporting by Echo Wang and Lance Tupper in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)