Electric Jet-Ski Maker Taiga to Go Public Via Canaccord SPAC

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Electric jet-ski maker Taiga Motors plans to go public via a merger with a blank-check company sponsored by Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., taking advantage of investor demand for companies that can burnish their environmental credentials.

Montreal-based Taiga will have an implied market capitalization of about C$537 million ($422 million) after the combination with the Canaccord Genuity Growth II Corp. special purpose acquisition corporation, the companies said Wednesday. That valuation includes a C$100 million private placement with investors including John Risley’s Northern Private Capital.

Taiga Motors makes electric recreational vehicles including Orca jet skis and Ekko Mountain snowmobiles that are meant to create a smaller environmental impact than rival products that run on fossil fuels. The company last year reached a deal with ABB Ltd. that will allow Taiga to offer customers the Swiss company’s Terra wallbox charging stations.

Canaccord Genuity Growth II, trading under the ticker CGGZ in Toronto, was up 9.4% to C$3.83 as of 12:37 p.m. after rising more than 21% earlier Wednesday. The company went public at C$3 per share in 2019.

Electric Jet-Ski Maker Taiga to Go Public Via Canaccord SPAC

The deal, which is expected to be completed in April, will give Taiga about C$185 million in net cash proceeds to pursue its growth strategy. That will include speeding up its existing production capabilities to fulfill pre-orders for vehicles, and moving ahead with plans to expand output.

The company current has a 50,000-square-foot facility in Montreal that it expects to boost production to 2,000 vehicles a year by the second half of 2021. Taiga also plans to build a 340,000-square-foot factory that will be able to build 60,000 vehicles and 20,000 powertrains a year.

Taiga was founded in 2015 by McGill University graduates Samuel Bruneau, Gabriel Bernatchez and Paul Achard, according to the university’s website. Bruneau will serve as chief executive officer after the deal and the company’s current management team will continue to lead it.

Taiga said in a statement that the market for snowmobiles, jet skis and side-by-side vehicles is about C$50 billion.

But Taiga won’t be alone in producing electric versions of those vehicles. BRP Inc., the maker of Sea-Doo jet skis and Ski-Doo snowmobiles, plans to introduce a broad lineup of electric-powered products within in the next three years, Chief Executive Officer Jose Boisjoli told Bloomberg last month.

The Canaccord SPAC raised C$100 million in an initial public offering in April 2019. The company said at the time it would focus its search for target businesses in the cannabis sector, but that it wouldn’t limit itself to a particular industry or geographic region.

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