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Transactional

Lidar maker AEye valuation slips to $1.5 bln on new SPAC merger terms

2 minute read

AEye Inc and a blank-check firm backed by financial services company Cantor Fitzgerald on Monday amended their merger agreement, valuing the lidar sensor maker at $1.52 billion, citing valuation changes of publicly traded lidar companies.

In February, AEye had agreed to go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) CF Finance Acquisition Corp III (CFAC.O), in a deal that valued the company at $2 billion.

The companies attributed the terms of the amended deal to "changing conditions" in the automotive lidar industry.

Lidar peers Ouster Inc (OUST.N) and Peter Thiel-backed Luminar Technologies Inc (LAZR.O), which also took the SPAC route to get publicly listed, have lost 10% and 22% of their value, respectively, since making their market debuts.

Founded in 2013 by former Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) and NASA engineer Luis Dussan, AEye is one of several firms specializing in a relatively young technology that uses light-based sensors to generate a three-dimensional view of the road.

Blank-check firms, or SPACs, like CF III are shell companies that raise funds through an initial public offering to take a private company public.

Lidar sensors, which use laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the car, are seen as essential by many automakers to allow higher levels of driver assistance, right up to making them capable of self-driving.

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