Electric-car start-up Rivian files to sell $1 billion of shares

Rivian Motors is closer to filing to go public after filing to sell a $1 billion portion of its shares.

The electric-car start-up sent a preliminary prospectus to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. It joins nearly a dozen companies planning an initial public offering in the second half of 2019, a sign of a recovery for an industry in which many electric start-ups have gone bankrupt or vanished into the world of super-early-stage startups.

Rivian sought to sell between $150 million and $500 million of stock at a range of $14 to $16 per share, the company said in the filing.

“Even if we are able to successfully complete this sale, we may not be able to raise the amount of funds that we anticipate seeking,” Rivian said in the prospectus.

The company, based in Warren, Michigan, has been in talks with private equity firms to build electric sport utility vehicles for public markets.

Rivian plans to share its lithium-ion battery production plan in partnership with an unnamed company, which may be majority-owned by Flextronics International Ltd., an electronics manufacturer that filed to go public in July. Rivian’s hope is to share battery production with both companies and use the money raised through the IPO to fund its electric vehicle plan.

Its announcement Monday did not include a price range for the IPO. Shares would begin trading on a stock exchange with the ticker RVN.

Rivian told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to use the IPO proceeds to fund its electric vehicle development plan, including R&D expenses and manufacturing investments.

The company has signed production agreements with the Los Angeles-based Hilcorp Fuel Systems, which is building Rivian’s factory in Jamestown, Michigan, and with Flextronics, the Los Angeles-based manufacturer of manufacturing equipment. Hilcorp, owned by affiliates of billionaire Leon Black, plans to begin production at the plant in the second half of 2019.

Flextronics plans to invest $150 million to build electric vehicle tooling in a plant in Saipan, the territory of the Japanese government.

Rivian, owned by Harmony Partners and the E-TRADE Funds affiliate, which has $208 billion in assets under management, announced earlier this year that it plans to build an electric manufacturing plant in Minnesota, as well as a plant in Mexico.

The Rivian filing did not include details about its revenue or growth rate.

The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automotive consultant J.D. Power has ranked Rivian 10th among electric-car start-ups in North America in the third quarter, a feat the company says highlights its launch of an all-electric SUV in May. Rivian has said it is working on a sport utility vehicle and an electric pickup truck.

Other companies in the second half of 2019 seeking to go public include Taco Bell heir Alan Hoffman’s Lucid Motors, which raised $150 million in a private investment round earlier this year; drone start-up AeroVironment Inc., which said in May it planned to build unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial clients; Boston-based drone maker Blade Systems and Dubai-based Itico Inc., whose principal business is waste recycling technology.

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