August 11 (Reuters) – Self-driving startup Pony.ai has officially announced plans to move to New York with a $ 12 billion merger with an empty check company. People who know about it are being targeted by Chinese technology companies.
The decision makes Pony.ai the largest company in China to block US listings after the first public offering (IPO) encountered on Chinese charts, a few days after DD Global Inc. (DIN) did not register new users. .
It has taken a number of measures against other Chinese technology companies over consumer security concerns, prompting some companies, such as LinkDoc Technology (LDOC.O) and Hello Inc., to cancel their US plans. Read more
Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said the startup, backed by Toyota Motor Corporation (7203.T), now wants to raise $ 12 billion in a private fundraiser. The United States is expected to have a list of green lights from the Chinese government, according to sources.
PinoiI, which operates in the United States and China, has a significant presence in Chinese cities, including Beijing and Guangzhou, where it launched its pilot program and signed agreements with Chinese government-owned car groups.
He feared that Chinese regulators could take action if they started the US stock market, even if it merged with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) rather than an IPO. Details of Pony.ai’s talks with Chinese officials could not be reached.
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Pony.ai was in special talks to merge with VectoIQ Acquisition II (VTIQ.O). The deal will cover private investments of approximately $ 1.2 billion, and the company intends to list them by October, sources said.
A Pony.ai spokesman said the company did not have an official timeline and timetable and did not comment on the discussions. China’s cyberspace management, which has been cracking down on technology companies such as DD, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. VectoIQ declined to comment.
If Pony.ai went ahead with the list, he would also face an American investigation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said last month that it would not allow Chinese companies to raise funds in the United States unless they fully disclose their legal entities and the risk of interference in their trade. Read more
The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States has been reviewing SPAC agreements, which review foreign companies’ agreements for national security risks.
Pony.ai CEO James Peng told Reuters in June that the company was planning to go public in the United States to help market its driverless driving services. He did not provide details on how this would happen. Read more
SPACs, which raise money through IPOs to buy private companies over a period of time, have become a popular way for self-driving technology companies to go public.
A Chinese trucking company with operations and partnerships in China has agreed to make a $ 3.3 billion merger with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp V (HCIC.O) before the Chinese technology boom began in May. Read more That deal is still expected to close in the third quarter.
Pony.ai, which develops and tests its own self-driving vehicles in the United States and China.
In June, the company hired Lawrence Stein, vice president of investment banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), to prepare the list. Read more
VectoIQ II is the second SPAC, led by former General Motors (GMN) Vice-Chairman Steve Girsky, and the first SPAC has entered into an agreement with electric truck manufacturer Nikola Corporation (NKLA.O). In January, it raised $ 345 million in overcrowded IPOs.
New York by Crystal Hu, Ken Wu and Julie Zoo in Hong Kong, Yali Sun.
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