Lordstown Motors completes merger, goes public Monday

Lordstown Motors completes merger, goes public Monday

Quick financial deal generates $675 million to retool Ohio plant, launch electric pickup production.

October 26, 2020

Cleveland, Ohio – Electric pickup startup Lordstown Motors (LM) has completed its reverse merger with DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., a transaction that should fund Lordstown’s launch of its Endurance pickup.

LM, late last year, bought General Motors’ former Chevy Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, a deal which GM partially underwrote with low-interest loans. GM remains invested in LM through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) deal that supported the merger with DiamondPeak.

With the completion of the deal, LM will start trading on the Nasdaq today using the RIDE ticker symbol. It joins a growing list of electric vehicle (EV) startups that have used fast-paced reverse mergers to raise funds and go public. DiamondPeak and similar companies are investment firms that raise money from investors by going public, then they search for promising companies to buy. If they fail to identify merger targets within a few years, they must return their money to investors.

LM Founder and CEO Steve Burns said the deal will allow his company to launch the Endurance – an EV pickup that uses motors in each wheel instead of centralized propulsion found on most vehicles. That design should make the Endurance easier to build as it will have fewer electrical connections and moving parts. That simplicity, coupled with a factory full of Fanuc robots and other manufacturing equipment, should give LM an edge, Burns has said.

“Electrification of the automotive industry is at an inflection point, and this transaction helps us play our part in this transformation,” Burns said. “We have built a differentiated company, and we look forward to combining our EV startup culture with the infrastructure and assets we already have in place in order to successfully achieve our production milestones.”

LM had planned to launch the Endurance this year, but slowdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic slowed engineering and manufacturing work in Ohio. Burns said the company is on track to launch the truck in the second half of next year.

LM’s target buyers are fleet customers – utilities, construction companies, landscapers, and other businesses that buy several vehicles at a time. Fleet buyers have already contracted for the plant’s first full year of production with advanced orders.

“We are thrilled about the successful execution of this merger, which included a PIPE that is backed by General Motors and several long-term institutional investors, and we congratulate Lordstown on achieving this key milestone,” said DiamondPeak Chairman and CEO David Hamamoto. “We look forward to our long-term partnership with Steve and the entire Lordstown team as they progress towards being first to market with an electric pickup truck for commercial fleets.”

About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and Today's eMobility and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 19 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.