BlackRock-Backed Arrival to List After Sale to Blank-Check Firm

Arrival Ltd. has agreed to combine with blank-check firm CIIG Merger Corp. in a deal that will raise cash and give the electric van and bus maker a listing on the Nasdaq.

The transaction, which gives the combined company an enterprise value of $5.4 billion, will provide Arrival with approximately $660 million in cash, the two companies said in a statement Wednesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. CIIG also raised $400 million in new equity to support the transaction. Arrival will be listed under the ticker ARVL.

Arrival said Wednesday it will use the infusion to fund growth. The company, founded in 2015 and led by Chief Executive Officer Denis Sverdlov, raised $118 million from funds managed by BlackRock Inc. last month, and dedicated those proceeds to projects including a “microfactory” to produce energy-efficient vehicles in South Carolina. The October fundraising round valued the company at about 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion), according to BloombergNEF.

Arrival has signed contracts worth $1.2 billion with production planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021, it said in the statement. Other investors in Arrival include Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. UPS has ordered 10,000 vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems such as automated braking and lane-change warnings, which could lead to autonomous movements within the company’s facilities.

Annual electric van sales will grow to 2.3 million units in the U.S., Europe and China by 2030, BloombergNEF has estimated, projecting that large fleet operators such as Amazon.com Inc., DHL and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA will drive demand.

Other electric-vehicle startups including Nikola Corp. and Fisker Inc. have agreed to go public through mergers with so-called special purpose acquisition companies. Lion Electric Co. is among companies pursuing a blank-check deal, Bloomberg News has reported.

CIIG, led by chairman and CEO Peter Cuneo, raised about $260 million in a December 2019 initial public offering. Cuneo will become the non-executive chairman of the combined entity.

Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised Arrival, while UBS Group AG and Barclays Plc acted for CIIG, according to the statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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