The electric air taxi startup Lilium is merging with special purpose acquisition company Qell after shareholders have now voted in favour of the merger. The SPAC deal will see Lilium list on Nasdaq this Wednesday. However, Lilium’s proceeds from the IPO are much less than hoped for.
65 per cent of the original Qell shareholders redeemed their shares. In March, the Lilium management around CEO Daniel Wiegand had still hoped for proceeds of almost 830 million dollars. Now Lilium was only able to collect 584 million dollars.
However, the IPO is now underway after more than 98% of the votes cast at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Qell Shareholders favoured the previously announced business combination. The merger is expected to close on September 14, 2021, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions. Lilium shares will list on Nasdaq as “LILM” and “LILMW” the following day.
Daniel Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO, Lilium, said, “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to our planned commercial launch in 2024, delivering sustainable high-speed regional transportation with the all-electric 7-Seater Lilium Jet.”
A troubled uptake
It remains to be seen whether the new funding will be enough to get Lilium up and away. In July this, German paper Welt am Sonntag reported the electric aerial taxi start-up was short of cash. The company had amended its 2019 balance sheet to include a going concern risk note, so the report. Lilium had later confirmed that the upcoming IPO or alternative financing was needed as the company would otherwise run out of money in December 2022.
The company is currently employing 400 engineers working on a seven-seater electric jet. Unlike other urban air taxi companies, Lilium aims for regional transport routes around the 300-kilometre distance. By 2025, for example, the company wants to connect Orlando with Miami in the south and Jacksonville in the north of Florida.
In July, Lilium struck a deal with the Porsche and Manz joint venture Customcells. The battery specialist will “play a critical role in scaling up production of the 7-Lilium jet ahead of its planned launch in 2024,” both announcements said. The battery cells and Lilium jets will be made in Germany.
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