Autonomous Truck Company Embark Eyes $5.2B SPAC Merger To Go Public: WSJ

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  • The self-driving truck startup, Embark Trucks Inc, is planning to go public via the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) route by merging with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp II NGAB in a deal valued at $5.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Embark is estimated to generate around $615 million in cash proceeds from the money held by the SPAC and private investment in public equity (PIPE). The PIPE investors include Knight-Swift and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global Management.
  • Embark joined PlusAI Corp and TuSimple Holdings Inc TSP, which have strong China ties. However, Embark's focus was on the U.S. 
  • Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is joining Embark's board.
  • Founded in 2016, the U.S. self-driving truck software firm aims to partner with shippers to reduce carrier costs and make roads safer.
  • The company has partnerships with multiple transportation companies and brands, including beer seller Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV BUD, technology firm HP Inc HPQ, and truckload carrier Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc KNX.
  • Embark presently has a small developmental fleet running some routes out of Southern California. It aims to commercialize its technology fully and to license it so that carriers can operate a large number of their trucks using Embark's software without any human drivers.
  • The Embark deal follows Amazon.com Inc's AMZN plans to buy a minimum of 1,000 self-driving trucks from Plus and the option to acquire up to a 20% stake in the company. Plus recently announced a separate SPAC-merger deal worth $3.3 billion.
  • Shares of some companies tied to self-driving or electric transportation that went public through SPACs have struggled in recent months due to rising costs or technological setbacks. Some SPACs faced flak for their risky, overvalued transactions at investors' expense.
  • Price Action: NGAB shares are up 1.21% at $10 on the last check Wednesday.
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