Volvo Cars spinoff Polestar to go public
Polestar, the high-performance electric carmaker that’s building its next vehicle at the Volvo Cars manufacturing campus in Ridgeville, is going public in a deal that values the company at about $20 billion.
The Volvo spinoff, founded in 2017 by China’s Geely Holding Group, will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol PSNY during the first half of 2022.
“This is not a startup that’s all alone out there,” Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s CEO, told Bloomberg. “Our speed of growth and our capability is linked to us having the access to the manufacturing footprint of the Volvo group.”
Instead of going it alone in the stock market, Polestar will merge with Gores Guggenheim Inc. through a “special purpose acquisition company,” or SPAC.
Gores Guggenheim is a publicly traded shell business that’s been set up specifically to take another firm public. It’s different from an initial public offering — historically the most common way a company can offer shares to the masses — because the acquirer is already listed on a stock exchange, so the company wishing to go public doesn’t have to convince individual investors of its value.
The automaker will produce its new Polestar 3 SUV at the Volvo Cars plant off Interstate 26 in Berkeley County, where a $118 million upgrade to the production line is taking place to accommodate the vehicle.
Polestar hasn’t announced details of its new vehicle’s design except to say it will have a futuristic look with an emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency. It will be the brand’s first vehicle built in the U.S. — the other two models have been built in China — and it will seek to compete with the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla’s Model X.
Polestar did not say how many cars it will build in South Carolina, but the first will roll off the production line in 2022. Polestar hopes to sell 29,000 automobiles this year and expects annual sales to top 225,000 units by 2025. The brand is sold in 13 markets now and Polestar expects to be available in 30 countries by the end of 2023.
The Polestar 3 will be the first electrified vehicle that Volvo will produce at its U.S. plant. The site will add Volvo’s next generation XC90 SUV, to be available in both electric and hybrid versions, to a second production line in 2023.
The Polestar brand, which is headquartered in Sweden and counts actor Leonardo DiCaprio among its investors, raised $550 million from private groups in April. It will get about $1 billion from the deal with Gores Guggenheim, which is backed by billionaire Alec Gores and the investment bank Guggenheim Partners. Current investors in Polestar will see their shares rolled into the new public company.