Sono Motors has announced its intention to present the new prototype generation of the Sion at CES in January 2021. Furthermore, that might soon not be Sono Motors’ only connection to the US, as the Munich-based startup is reportedly aiming for the U.S. stock market.
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According to Sono Motors, the new generation prototypes will demonstrate the development progress the company has made despite the Covid 19 pandemic. It is to be unveiled at the all-digital CES (Jan. 11-14, 2021).
With the prototype, Sono aims to take another big step toward volume production. “For the first time, we integrated parts in a prototype that will also be installed in the series vehicle,” said Denis Azhar, Group Lead Sion at Sono Motors. “The successful assembly is the result of strong partnerships with suppliers and employees from the facility in Roding.”
Just last week, Sono Motors announced a collaboration with Team Rosberg Engineering. The chassis developed as part of the collaboration is already installed in the prototype and will form the basis for the production chassis, Sono said.
In the current announcement, the Munich-based company also refers to the situation of a year ago. On December 1, 2019, the company had announced that important negotiations with strategic investors had failed and that instead they wanted to collect 50 million euros via crowdfunding for further development. After an extension into January 2020, the goal was achieved.
In the future, Sono Motors apparently wants to tap new sources of funds: As reported by the German Manager Magazin, Sono Motors is also planning an IPO in the USA. Without naming any sources, it says: “They want to go public on the U.S. stock exchange, where, after Tesla’s share price explosion, other electric car start-ups such as Nikola or Fisker have recently sought and found their fortune in the hope of support from yield-hungry investors. And had used placeholder companies already listed on the stock exchange, so-called SPACs, to do so.”
These “placeholder companies” were usually formed precisely for the purpose of merging with another company and are therefore also known as “special-purchase acquisition companies” (SPACs). With such a SPAC deal, the otherwise usual procedures of an own IPO can be accelerated enormously in the case of a merger, since the SPAC is already listed on the stock exchange. In the U.S., a traditional IPO can take up to two years.
The report does mention SPAC, but not whether Sono Motors also plans to go this route. If the capital is to flow quickly, this route seems obvious, given the otherwise standard timeframes for a U.S. IPO. The company has not commented on the information.
Update 24 October 2021
The Munich-based solar electric car start-up has now officially filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the planned IPO of its ordinary shares. The number of shares offered and the price range for the potential offering have not yet been determined. Sono Motors is seeking to list its common shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “SEV”, according to the company.
Berenberg is acting as global coordinator for the proposed offering. Craig-Hallum will serve as co-manager for the proposed offering. Sion stresses, however, that “the offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether, or when, the offering may be completed or as to the actual size or terms of the offering.”
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