Banking

This Electric Truck Maker May Go Public As Delivery Market Heats Up

Electric truck maker Xos is in talks to go public through a merger with NextGen Acquisition (NGAC), the latest EV startup looking to debut via a blank-check deal. NextGen stock fell.




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Los Angeles-based Xos, formerly Thor Trucks, makes a fully electric platform for medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The so-called skateboard platform can host a range of body types, from step vans to box trucks. Xos electric vans for deliveries are being tested by UPS (UPS).

The deal could value Xos at around $2 billion and could be announced as soon as this month, sources told CNBC. Reuters first reported the news.

Interest in commercial EVs has grown as a new landmark California ruling requires half of all commercial trucks sold in the state to be emissionless by 2035.

Xos joins several legacy auto companies vying to grow the market for medium-duty electric trucks, including Volvo Trucks, Daimler (DDAIF) via Freightliner, Ford (F), and Navistar (NAV) together with General Motors (GM).

The growing market for commercial EVs, from delivery vans to semitrucks, also includes Tesla (TSLA) and Workhorse Group (WKHS). EV startups targeting this market include Nikola (NKLA) and Amazon (AMZN)-backed Rivian.

In late January, GM said it will supply fuel cells to power Navistar (NAV) semitrucks.


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NextGen Stock, Electric Trucks

Shares of NextGen Acquisition fell 3.8% to close at 12.98 in Tuesday’s stock market. NextGen stock jumped 29% Monday after reports of a deal to take Xos public.

Navistar is being acquired by German firm Traton, the heavy-truck business spun off from Volkswagen (F) that is looking to expand in North America.

Last week, Daimler announced it will split its truck and car units into two standalone companies, joining Volkswagen’s spinoff move.

A blank-check company has no business of its own but aims to acquire a private company, which then becomes public as a result of the merger. For the company being acquired, the merger is another way to go public instead of a traditional IPO, involving less burdensome regulatory scrutiny.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.

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