Autonomous tech start-up Luminar to go public for about $3.4bn

Volvo Cars said in May it struck a deal with the Silicon Valley-based start-up, Luminar Technologies, to integrate its technology in its new car platform from 2022.
Volvo Cars said in May it struck a deal with the Silicon Valley-based start-up, Luminar Technologies, to integrate its technology in its new car platform from 2022.
Image: Volvo

Autonomous vehicle start-up Luminar Technologies Inc said on Monday it would go public through a merger with blank-cheque firm Gores Metropoulos Inc for about $3.4bn (roughly R57,486,214,000).

The deal includes $400m (roughly R6,766,640,000) of cash from Gores Metropoulos and $170m (roughly R10,715,515,760) financing into Luminar by investors including tech billionaire Peter Thiel, GoPro Inc founder Nick Woodman and Volvo Cars Tech Fund.

Luminar makes lidar sensors and software for autonomous vehicles. Lidar sensors, which use laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the car, are seen as essential by many automakers to allow higher levels of driver assistance right up to making them capable of self-driving.

The combined company will retain the name Luminar Technologies Inc and list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “LAZR.”

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, the company said.

Deutsche Bank Securities is the financial adviser to Gores, while GCA Advisors LLC and Jefferies Group LLC are advising Luminar.

Shares of the blank cheque company jumped about 26% in pre-market trade.

Volvo Cars said in May it struck a deal with the Silicon Valley-based start-up to integrate its technology in its new car platform from 2022.


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