Shares of Rivian Automotive soared as much as 53 per cent in its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday, giving the Amazon and Ford-backed electric vehicle maker a market valuation of more than $100bn after the world’s biggest initial public offering this year.
Such a valuation makes it bigger than General Motors at $86bn, Ford at $80bn, and Lucid Group at $69bn. Only Tesla is valued higher, with a market capitalisation of an astounding approximately $1 trillion.
Blowing past the offer price of $78 per share, Rivian’s stock opened at $106.75 per share.
Including securities, restricted stock units, the company is worth approximately $106bn.
Investors are excited by a new entrant to a sector dominated by Tesla as pressure mounts in the wake of the Cop26 UN climate conference for more action to reduce harmful emissions and tackle the climate crisis.
The Irvine, California-based company has been ramping up production and plans to build one million vehicles per year by the end of the decade.
In September it launched an upscale, all-electric pickup truck, called the R1T, ahead of Tesla, GM, and Ford’s own efforts. A seven-passenger SUV, the R1S is due to launch in December.
Amazon has ordered 100,000 Rivian vehicles to be delivered by 2030, with 10,000 on the roads as early as next year.
Vehicle production takes place at an assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, which has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 vehicles a year — approximately 65,000 will be R1Ts and 85,000 the commercial delivery van, the RCV.
Founded in 2009 as Mainstream Motors by RJ Scaringe, the company was renamed in 2011 as Rivian, a name derived from "Indian River" in Florida, a place Mr Scaringe frequented in a rowboat as a youth.
Mr Scaringe will hold all outstanding Class B common shares after the IPO and get 10 votes per share, Rivian said in a filing.
The company’s IPO is one of the biggest the US has seen, raising nearly $12bn. Amazon’s 20 per cent stake is now worth about $17bn — a five-fold increase since September — and Ford’s 12 per cent stake is valued at over $10bn.
Amazon, T Rowe Price, Franklin Templeton, Capital Research, and Blackstone are among a group of “cornerstone investors” who are indicated to buy up to $5bn worth of shares, according to the filing.
With reporting from Reuters
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