German EV Startup E.GO Weighs Listing Options Including SPAC

, Bloomberg Quint

German EV hopeful Next.e.GO Mobile SE is in talks to go public through a blank-check company or an initial public offering that could value the manufacturer of compact cars for shorter trips at as much as 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion). The company, saved from insolvency last year, may go through with the plan within the next 12 months, Chairman Ali Vezvaei said in an interview.

“There are advantages to both and we’re examining our options,” Vezvaei said, while the company has plans to produce a total of 300,000 vehicles over the next five years. “It could happen within the next 12 months.”

E.GO was founded by university professor Guenther Schuh, who’d previously sold the StreetScooter startup making bare-bones electric delivery vans to Deutsche Post AG. Offering no-frills electric cars, e.GO restarted its factory in Aachen this month after Dutch private equity firm ND Industrial Investments B.V plucked it from insolvency proceedings last year.

Deliberations for a listing follow a slew of EV hopefuls going public via mergers with special purpose acquisition companies with many failing to deliver on lofty goals. A wave of announcements from incumbent carmakers from Volkswagen AG to Stellantis NV have also wrested back the EV spotlight. Still, so-called SPACS remain a hot ticket for the electric-vehicle sector.

E.GO’s expansion plans under its new owner come after production shutdowns in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic tipped the company into insolvency. ND Industrial Investments, with holdings in the logistics, transport and energy sectors, became its majority shareholder last year and installed Vezvaei as chairman.

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