The US electric carmaker Lucid Motors wants to raise about $3 billion through a stock offering. The majority will come from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), which already has a stake of more than 60 per cent in Lucid.
PIF is acquiring 265.7 million new Lucid shares in a private placement with a total value of about $1.8 billion. “The private placement is expected to close on June 26”, it says in the press release. The remaining amount will be generated through a public offering of 173.5 million common stock.
“That, along with money from the Saudis, will ensure Lucid survives a couple of more years. But their burn rate needs to fall fast. There’s a glut of EVs for sale in the US and competitors are cutting prices and offering discounts”, Louis Navellier, chief investment officer at money management firm Navellier, told Reuters.
Following the announcement, Lucid shares dropped nearly 10 per cent. PIF will buy the shares for $6.80 each. One day prior (on Wednesday), the share’s closing price was $7.76.
The carmaker needs the money to continue to compete against Tesla, which started a price war in the US. While the latter has lowered the prices of its top-of-the-range models, in some cases significantly, Lucid has not yet made the Air any cheaper – prices still start at 87,400 dollars in the USA.
At the beginning of May, Lucid announced that it still had total liquidity of around $4.1 billion, just over €3.7 billion. Reuters says it would have been “enough to fund the EV maker at least into the second quarter of next year”. But the company continues to operate at a loss. It posted a net loss of $1.3 billion for 2022. And the company’s net loss increased to $779.5 million (€708.8 million) in the first quarter of 2023, compared to $472.6 million in Q4/2022.
In March, the carmaker said that it is firing 1.300 employees in the US – or 18 per cent of its staff there – in order to cut costs. Moreover, Lucid adjusted its annual target downwards slightly. It now plans to sell “more than 10,000 EVs, compared to the previously announced 14,000 cars.
So far, the electric luxury sedan ‘Air’ remains the manufacturer’s only model. But Lucid announced that it will unveil its Gravity SUV later this year – ahead of the planned launch in 2024. Pre-orders could then possibly replenish the carmaker’s cash reserves.