Electric-bus maker Lion Electric to go public through SPAC deal

(Reuters) - Lion Electric Co said on Monday it would go public through a merger with blank-check company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp, as it aims to ramp up production capacity to tap growing demand for electric vehicles.

Quebec-based Lion Electric, mainly known for its yellow electric school buses, expects to receive about $500 million of net cash proceeds from the deal.

The company, founded in 2008 as Lion Bus, said proceeds from the deal would be used to expand its U.S. manufacturing capacity, develop advanced battery systems and construct a battery-system assembly factory.

The deal, likely to close in the first quarter of 2021, is expected to create a company with a market value of about $1.9 billion.

Lion Electric, which also makes electric commercial trucks, said the combined company is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LEV”.

Lion Electric’s shareholders are expected to hold about 70% of the combined company’s common equity after the deal is closed, assuming no redemptions from Northern Genesis’ shareholders.

A blank-check firm, also known as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), uses proceeds from an initial public offering to buy a private company, typically within two years. The private company is then taken public.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Devika Syamnath