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Rivian for the win: Electric-vehicle maker targets $8B IPO windfall

If company raises amount, it would be the 4th-largest US IPO in past 10 years

Electric-vehicle maker Rivian is said to be looking for as much as $8B from its upcoming IPO, which would make it the fourth-largest U.S. IPO in the past 10 years. (Photo: Amazon)

Electric-vehicle maker Rivian, which is backed by Amazon, Ford and T. Rowe Price, is looking to raise between $5 billion and $8 billion in an initial public offering, Reuters is reporting.

The company filed last month confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO that could value the company at $80 billion.

“The size and price range for the proposed offering have yet to be determined,” the company said in a statement issued to the media at the time. “The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

The company declined comment to Reuters, which cited people familiar with the matter in the newest report. The IPO could happen as soon as October.

In the past 10 years, only three IPOs in the U.S. have generated more in funds for companies: Alibaba in 2014 when it raised $25 billion; Facebook’s $16 billion in 2012; and Uber’s $8.1 billion in 2019.

Rivian has raised more than $10.5 billion from Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), T. Rowe Price Associates and Fidelity, among others.

In the fall of 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from the Southern California-based startup, following an initial $700 million investment from the e-tailer earlier that year.

Read: Amazon-backed Rivian files for $80B IPO

Read: Workhorse Group latest electric truck maker under SEC scrutiny

Prior to that date, Rivian had positioned itself as an adventure vehicle maker, focused on an electric pickup truck, the Rivian R1T, and an electric SUV, the Rivian R1S. In October 2020, Rivian released a prototype of the Amazon vehicle, with delivery expected to begin at the end of the year. Some of the initial vehicles are now on the roads.

Amazon began testing Rivian vans in March in the San Francisco area. The vans, which feature a 150-mile range on a single charge, three levels of shelving with a bulkhead door that can be opened and closed for additional driver protection while on the road, and a suite of highway and traffic assist technologies, are being driven by Amazon employees.

Amazon expects to have 10,000 Rivian vans on the road by 2022 and the full 100,000 order by 2030.

The company is in talks with officials in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mesa, Arizona, about building a $5 billion factory that would produce 200,000 vehicles a year. The new funds would help expand production beyond its current Normal, Illinois, facility.

Reuters said filing documents it viewed showed facility investment would be at least $5 billion.

Rivian is trying to reverse a negative trend of electric-vehicle makers going public.

Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) has struggled to get its electric vans into production, continually pushing back timelines, and on Sept. 2 it was revealed the company was the subject of a SEC probe arising from short-seller allegations of shady business practices.

Workhorse lost on a lucrative U.S. Postal Service contract this summer to build the next-generation mail delivery vehicle. It sued the government over the contract, which was awarded to Oshkosh Corp, and only on Wednesday did the company announce it was dropping its lawsuit.

A short seller report also hit Nikola Motor (NASDAQ: NKLA) hard last year, resulting in the hydrogen-electric truck maker dismissing its founder and CEO Trevor Milton. Milton has since been charged by the SEC with three counts of fraud for allegedly trying to drive up Nikola’s stock price for personal gain.

Workhorse also has ties to another electric pickup truck maker, Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE), which was spun out of Workhorse in 2019 and created by Workhorse founder Steve Burns. The SEC is investigating Lordstown over inflation of preorder numbers for its Endurance pickup truck. Separately, LMC in June filed a “notice of going concern” with the SEC, suggesting that without new money, it might be out of business within a year. It reiterated that notice in July.

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].