UK startup Britishvolt exploring potential SPAC merger

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A car is plugged in at a charging point for electric vehicles in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Electric vehicle battery startup Britishvolt is considering going public, possibly through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), it said on Thursday, as it continues fundraising for a 2.6 billion pound ($3.59 billion) plant in England.

The startup has appointed Guggenheim Capital LLC and Barclays Plc to explore merger options, including a SPAC.

A wave of electric vehicle-related startups around the world have gone public over the past year, typically involving a reverse merger with a SPAC. The top performer among them last year was battery startup QuantumScape Corp.

SPACs are listed shell companies that raise funds to acquire a private company with the purpose of taking it public, allowing such targets to sidestep a traditional initial public offering.

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official warned on Wednesday of the risks associated with such blank-cheque companies.

Britishvolt said it has also appointed Barclays to advise on its next two rounds of fundraising and aims to raise up to 350 million pounds by the end of this summer.

Britishvolt, which so far says it has raised about 10 million pounds, said in December it will build a plant in the port of Blyth, northern England, in three stages that will employ up to 3,000 people and produce at least 300,000 lithium-ion batteries a year by 2027.

The startup has applied for backing from a £1 billion British government fund set up to support the mass production of batteries and help the auto industry shift towards making electric vehicles.

($1 = 0.7251 pounds)

(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Susan Fenton)