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Proterra to Go Public Through Merger With SPAC ArcLight

Electric-vehicle-technology company Proterra plans to go public by merging with blank-check company ArcLight Clean Transition.
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Electric-vehicle-technology company Proterra said Tuesday it would go public through a merger with ArcLight Clean Transition  (ACTC) .

The deal nearly doubled the shares of ArcLight, the Boston special-purpose-acquisition company. They've traded as high as $23.40 on Tuesday and at last check were up 72% near $21.

The proposed acquisition, which is expected to close in the first half, represents an enterprise value of $1.6 billion for Proterra, Burlingame, Calif.

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction. Proterra will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol PTRA.

Proterra produces battery-electric buses as well as electric-vehicle technology. Users of the buses include more than 100 public-transit agencies, including the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Proterra's financial results include $193 million of estimated 2020 revenue, $750 million in existing orders and backlog, and 26% gross-margin expansion over the past three years.

At closing, Proterra expects to have as much as $825 million in cash to fund growth initiatives, including R&D and the expansion of its next-generation battery program

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The deal is expected to deliver about $648 million in cash at closing, including about $278 million of cash held by ArcLight from its IPO.

The transaction includes $415 million from investors Daimler Trucks, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Management & Research, and funds and accounts from BlackRock.  (BLK) - Get BlackRock Inc. Report

"For us, this is really an inflection point of the industry,” Jack Allen, Proterra’s chairman and chief executive, told Bloomberg. 

“Doing a SPAC allows us to go faster and to be able to really accelerate the investments that are ahead of us in all three of our business segments that are driving revenue today.”

Special-purpose-acquisition companies, also known as blank-check companies, have been a factor in many companies' IPO plans

Last week,  Social Finance, an online consumer finance platform, said that it was going public through a reverse merger with the blank-check company Social Capital Hedosophia Corp. V IPOE.

So far in 2021, 34 SPAC IPOs have been announced, out of a total of 36 initial public offerings, according to SPAC Analytics. 

Last year saw 248 SPAC IPOs out of a total 450 IPOs. This compares with 2019, which saw 59 SPACs out of a total of 213 IPOs.