- The British car manufacturer Lotus is already owned by Geely, and now the company has announced that it will merge with L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp., which is a SPAC or special acquisition company.
- The combined company is expected to be called Lotus Technology Inc. retained, with an estimated combined enterprise value of approximately $5.4 billion.
- Geely and other current Lotus owners are expected to retain their stakes in the merged entity and will jointly own 89.7 percent. Common stock for Lotus is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “LOT” after the IPO.
Lotus is being announced, but on the surface little will change: Parent company Geely and its co-owners are expected to retain a majority stake of 89.7 percent of the company. Common stock for Lotus is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol “LOT” after the IPO. Interestingly, the new acquisitions company, or SPAC, buying into Lotus is associated with Bernard Arnault and his France-based luxury goods giant LVMH, which owns companies that produce everything from champagne to haute couture clothes.
New feeling, same name
After the deal goes through with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp., Lotus is expected to change its name to “Lotus Technology Inc.” retain. with a new enterprise valuation of approximately $5.4 billion. That valuation takes into account an estimated $288 million in cash from Catterton’s trust account (assuming none of that firm’s public shareholders choose to redeem their shares), according to a release from Lotus.
Eletre SUV plans seem to be on track
Geely CEO Qingfeng Feng will continue to steer the ship, and production plans do not appear to have changed. When we asked Lotus about how the merger will affect short- and long-term production plans, we were directed to the official release here. As things stand, the Eletre SUV is still expected to start deliveries in China in the first quarter of this year, and later in the year in the UK and Europe. It seems the US and the rest of the world will have to sit patiently, with Lotus still planning global delivery in 2024.
The push to go public is part of a larger story between Lotus and Geely trying to improve the company’s reach on a global scale. To that end, the prospects look high for the British outfit as they are known to the public. Managing director Matt Windle told us in December that Lotus had received more than 10,000 orders for its new Emira, with more than a third of those sales going to the country. In addition, Lotus sold more cars in the period between Goodwood 2021, when the Emira was launched, and Goodwood 2022 than it had in the previous six years combined.
A colorful history of ownership
Lotus has changed hands several times since Colin Chapman founded it in 1952. After Chapman’s death, the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy before being bought by General Motors and Toyota. The company was eventually sold to the Italian businessman Romano Artioli who also owned Bugatti at the time.
In 2017, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (more commonly known as Geely) bought a 51 percent stake in Lotus. In the years since, Geely has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into bringing Lotus into the modern era of car manufacturing.