Shares of Rivian Automotive opened almost 37% higher in its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday, giving the Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker a market valuation of nearly US$93-billion and making it the second most valuable US car manufacturer.
The mammoth valuation would make Rivian bigger than General Motors at $86-billion, Ford at about $80-billion, and Lucid Group at $69-billion.
The stock opened at $106.75/share, blowing past the offer price of $78/share.
Since last year, companies in the EV space have emerged as some of the hottest investments. Including securities such as options and restricted stock units, Rivian’s fully diluted valuation amounted to more than $106-billion.
Wall Street’s biggest institutional investors are betting on Rivian to be the next big player in a sector dominated by Tesla amid mounting pressure on automakers in China and Europe to eliminate vehicle emissions.
Rivian’s IPO comes against the backdrop of the UN Climate Summit, which saw automakers, airlines and governments unveil a raft of pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions from global transport.
Rivian has been investing heavily to ramp up production, doubling down on its upscale all-electric R1T bakkie, which was launched in September.
The Irvine, California-based company plans to build at least a million vehicles a year by the end of the decade, its CEO said on Tuesday.
Founded in 2009 as Mainstream Motors by RJ Scaringe, the company was renamed in 2011 as Rivian, a name derived from “Indian River” in Florida, a place Scaringe frequented in a rowboat as a youth.
Scaringe will hold all outstanding class-B common shares after the IPO and get 10 votes per share, Rivian said in a filing.
Rivian, also backed by Ford, priced an upsized IPO of 153 million shares at $78/share, raising nearly $12-billion, making it one of the biggest US IPOs. — Reported by Noor Zainab Hussain and Ben Klayman, with additional reporting by Niket Nishant, (c) 2021 Reuters