Shares of General Motors Co. (GM) jumped on Friday, June 15, after a report suggested the Detroit-based automaker is considering listing shares of its self-driving car unit Cruise Automation.
GM stock rose 1.3% at 3 p.m. New York time and closed at $43.90, up 0.8%.
GM is considering strategic alternatives, including a public share offering, listing a separate tracking stock or spinning off the unit, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.The company did not immediately respond to TheStreet's request for comment.
TheStreet's tech columnist Eric Jhonsa said on Twitter that "listing Cruise would (assuming the tech is ready in time" give it more funds to battle Google, which plans to launch this year."
$GM has been promising to launch a driverless taxi service in 2019. Listing Cruise would (assuming the tech is ready in time) give it more funds to battle $GOOG, which plans to launch this year. https://t.co/U64j02iiwn- Eric Jhonsa (@EricJhonsa) June 15, 2018
GM has begun testing autonomous-driving vehicles in a few cities, including San Francisco.
The automaker acquired Cruise in 2016 for $581 million in cash, but the overall value of the transaction was closer to $1 billion when including incentives for "key talent," Bloomberg said.
The self-driving unit most recently received a $2.25 billion investment from Softbank Vision Fund, helping the business to start commercial operations in 2019. The investment in GM's Cruise assets raised the valuation of the autonomous unit to $11.5 billion, according to Evercore ISI analysts, including George Galliers.
Softbank will own a 19.6% equity stake in GM Cruise.
If GM Cruise does not "complete an IPO, spin-off, sale or dissolution within seven years of the closing, the investor will have the right, subject to certain limitations, to exchange all, but not less than all, of the equity securities of GM Cruise held by the investor for shares of common stock of the company," according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Softbank investment also marked a legal separation of GM Cruise from the rest of the automaker, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache.
"As an independent legal entity, [GM Cruise] will have access to private funding based on valuations that are more competitive with mobility/technology peers, will have a valuable currency that can be used to attract and compensate talent, can (and likely will) attract other strategic investors, and we believe that this move also signals a path towards an IPO," Lache said at the end of May.