Geely-backed ECARX Holdings said on Thursday it would go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal that values the automobile technology company at $3.82 billion.
The deal with COVA Acquisition includes a $45 million investment from mobility tech company Geely Holding Group, lidar sensor maker Luminar Technologies and automotive company Lotus Technology.
It is also supported by $300 million raised by COVA Acquisition in its initial public offering (IPO) in February last year.
With facilities in China and Europe (its European headquarters are in Gothenburg, Sweden), ECARX was founded by Ziyu Shen, its CEO, and Eric Li, Geely's chairman, in 2017.
ECARX develops software and hardware such as digital cockpit and infotainment systems for cars. It serves both combustion-powered vehicles as well as automated and electric cars. Its clients include 12 car brands such as Geely, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz and Smart. Those brands are all associated with Geely, either as wholly owned subsidiaries or through investments and joint ventures.
“We are getting bigger and we want to be an international company,” Shen, ECARX’s chairman, said in an interview. “We want to have a very strong international expansion in the next five years.”