The Californian eMobility start-up Canoo (formerly Evelozcity) has now officially announced its IPO. The company has entered into a definitive agreement with the investment firm Hennessy Capital Acquisition to merge for the purpose of an IPO.
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Upon completion of the transaction that is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2020, the combined operating company will be called Canoo Inc. and will be listed on the US Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol CNOO.
The transaction should generate around $600 million of gross proceeds that should support the launch and production of the electric vehicles. Daniel Hennessy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Hennessy Capital Acquisition (HCAC) said, “HCAC has an abiding commitment to sustainable technologies and infrastructure, and we are excited to serve as a catalyst to advance the launch of the Canoo vehicle offerings.”
Canoo expects to launch its first model in 2022, which will be available exclusively on subscription. The American company first presented the electric vehicle in September 2019, before setting up a waiting list for interested parties in the Los Angeles area in January 2020.
The basis of Canoo’s strategy is a very flat skateboard platform developed in-house, which will not only be used in the company’s own models but also sold to third parties. In February 2020 it was announced that the Hyundai Motor Group, for example, would develop an electric platform based on the Canoo skateboard. Canoo says that their architecture will enable the company to rethink electric car design, maximise interior space and realise a wide range of vehicle applications. One of the advantages of the highly modular platform is that the approach allows for efficient production on a large scale.
The company’s achievements to date include the production of a beta vehicle within 19 months and the completion of more than 50 physical crash tests. In addition to the debut electric vehicle named Canoo and designed for the urban environment, Canoo has announced an electric delivery vehicle for 2023 that will compete on the last mile. In both cases, the subscription model will consist of an all-inclusive package at a fixed monthly price, covering maintenance, insurance and charging, among other things.
Ulrich Kranz, co-founder and CEO of Canoo, describes the agreement with Hennessy Capital Acquisition that has now been made public as an important milestone in Canoo’s efforts to reinvent the development, production and market introduction model of the electric vehicle industry. “Our technology allows for rapid and cost-effective vehicle development through the world’s flattest skateboard architecture, and we believe our subscription model will transform the consumer ownership experience.”
Kranz originally founded Canoo with Stefan Krause, among others. Krause was the startup’s first CEO but left the company in the summer. The former BMW and Deutsche Bank board member had already retired from the board in August 2019 to “continue to take care of Canoo’s financing from within the supervisory board”. A few weeks before Krause, former Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann had also resigned from the Board of Management at the Californian eMobility start-up in July 2019. Since then, Kranz has been managing the day-to-day operations at Canoo.
Update 22 October 2020: The Californian eMobility start-up Canoo has appointed Tony Aquila as Executive Chairman. He will prepare the completion of the announced merger with the investment firm Hennessy Capital Acquisition for an IPO.
Aquila had once founded and managed the technology company Solera Holding. The Executive Chairman is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board (comparable to the German Supervisory Board), but as “Executive Chair” he also assumes a management function independent of the CEO regarding the business of the company. In the case of Aquila, the primary objective is not only to supervise the IPO or merger with Hennessy but also to actively participate in shaping it.
“I am delighted to join the Canoo team as Executive Chairman at this crucial point in the company’s development,” Aquila is quoted in the release. “I see a rapidly evolving opportunity for the company’s skateboarding technology, based on the many applications it can serve. In the business-to-business market, it is becoming increasingly clear that our delivery vehicle can cover a broad segment of the industry.”
Ulrich Kranz, who remains Canoo’s CEO, said: “We believe in his leadership and advice, which, together with our existing world-class technical capabilities, will help us to take advantage of commercial opportunities in the marketplace”.
According to Daniel J. Hennessy, Chairman and CEO of Hennessy Capital, the merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.
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