A Class Of Its Own

Velodyne to go public in merger with special-purpose company

Velodyne Lidar Inc., a maker of sensors for self-driving motor vehicles backed by Ford Motor Co., has agreed to merge with special-objective acquisition organization Graf Industrial Corp., in accordance to a assertion Thursday.

The market place worth of the combined organization will be about $1.8 billion, in accordance to the assertion, which verified an previously Bloomberg News report. New institutional traders and existing Graf Industrial shareholders have committed $150 million to fund the transaction.

Velodyne backers which include Ford, Baidu Inc., Nikon Corp. and Hyundai Mobis will keep an 80 p.c stake in the combined organization. The San Jose, Calif.,-centered organization will have about $two hundred million in hard cash on its balance sheet, and David Corridor, Velodyne’s founder, will become government chairman. Velodyne CEO Anand Gopalan will proceed to guide the organization.

Velodyne results in radar-like methods for self-driving motor vehicles that use lasers to make a few-dimensional pictures of a bordering environment. Its technology is used by automakers which include Mercedes-Benz and Ford, in accordance to its web site.

Graf Industrial, a special-objective acquisition organization, elevated $225 million in an first general public offering in 2018.

Merging with a SPAC has become a common way for corporations to go general public as the coronavirus pandemic roils the markets, as an different to an first general public offering or direct listing.

Online used-automobile vendor Shift Systems explained this week it ideas to go general public later on this 12 months via a reverse merger with a SPAC.

Online gambling organization DraftKings Inc., potato chip maker Utz High quality Foodstuff and exercise organization F45 Education Holdings Inc. also struck offers with SPACS in new months.