Electric car maker Fisker will go public through a merger with a blank check company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management at a valuation of $2.9 billion, the companies said on Monday.
Reuters reported last week that the special purpose acquisition company, Spartan Energy Acquisition, was leading a bidding war among blank-check companies for Fisker.
The Fisker deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter, will provide Fisker with $1 billion in gross proceeds, including $500 million of funds from existing and new investors such as AllianceBernstein and BlackRock.
The proceeds will be used to bring the company's Fisker Ocean SUV to market in late 2022.
Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker, a former designer at Aston Martin and BMW who launched his latest company in Los Angeles in 2016, said he chose Apollo after talking to a number of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) because of its strong financial brand, global reach and experienced management.
"We're obviously very excited about getting full financing all the way to start of production," he said in a telephone interview.
Fisker said the startup is in talks with other companies, including Magna International, about building the SUV.
Magna declined to comment.
Fisker also is talking with other automakers about using their hardware, including vehicle platforms, motors, battery packs, air conditioning, and other parts, while Fisker focuses on design, software and the consumer digital experience.
"It's really not smart for any EV startup to try and make their own factory," he said. "We're using more the Apple model, where somebody else manufactures their phones."
Fisker also has a memorandum of understanding for Cox Automotive to handle Fisker's vehicle repairs, logistics and warehousing, Fisker said. Cox had no immediate comment.
His previous automotive venture, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after burning through $1.4 billion in private investments and taxpayer-funded loans.
That company was acquired the following year by Chinese auto-parts maker Wanxiang Group and renamed Karma Automotive.
A SPAC uses proceeds from its IPO, together with borrowed funds, to acquire a company, typically within two years.
SPACs have been behind some of the most high-profile public listings of the last 12 months, including peer Nikola, which went public last month, as investors place bets on which startup will be the next Tesla.
Bloomberg contributed to this report