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EV Startup’s Stock Market Debut Is Good for Ford Motors

Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive Inc., a partner of Ford Motor Co., made its stock market debut Wednesday in what was expected to be one of the largest-ever initial public offerings.

electric vehicles
(TNS) — Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive Inc., a partner of Ford Motor Co., made its stock market debut Wednesday in what was expected to be one of the largest-ever initial public offerings.

The California-based company, which recently became the first automaker to bring an electric pickup to market with the launch of its R1T truck, on Tuesday priced its stock at $78 per share to raise about $11.9 billion. It began trading in New York under the ticker symbol "RIVN" about 1 p.m. Wednesday, opening at $106.75 per share.

Rivian sold 153 million shares in the offering, making it the largest IPO of the year and the sixth-largest ever on a U.S. exchange, according to data compiled and reported by Bloomberg.

Rivian's gains stand to handsomely benefit Ford, which has a stake in the startup that could be worth billions more than the automaker's original investments of $820 million. Amazon.com Inc. — for which Rivian plans to build commercial delivery vans — holds a 20% stake in the company.

On a fully diluted basis, meaning the outstanding common shares that are available to trade on the market, Ford has a roughly 10% stake in Rivian. Ford holds 101,947,494 shares in the startup's Class A common stake, according to a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission — which, at $78 per share, would value Ford's stake at nearly $8 billion.

"Rivian is a strategic investment," Ford spokesperson Ian Thibodeau said Wednesday, "and we continue to explore ways for potential collaboration."

The companies initially had discussed partnering on development of an electric Lincoln vehicle, but backed away from those plans. Still, the companies expect to develop products using shared vehicle architecture and technology.

Rivian was founded in 2009 by RJ Scaringe. Today it employs some 9,500 people, 3,400 of whom work at the company's Normal, Illinois, plant where the R1T is built and Rivian's forthcoming electric SUV and commercial vans also will be assembled.

Rivian began delivering R1Ts in September. R1S, an electric SUV, is slated to launch at the end of this year. The startup also is preparing to launch production of 100,000 delivery vans for Amazon.

In a statement Wednesday, Scaringe said the decision to take the company public was made "to help us achieve the largest possible impact."

"Becoming a public company enables us to accelerate our efforts to help society transition to sustainable transportation and energy systems," he said. "We still have a lot to do, and always should, but this is a critical step forward."

© 2021 The Detroit News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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