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Report: Chinese Electric-Vehicle Maker Byton Seeks to Go Public Via SPAC

By John Rosevear - Updated Feb 8, 2021 at 5:10PM

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Byton's investors include Foxconn, which is helping to get its electric SUV into production.

Chinese electric-vehicle (EV) start-up Byton is in talks to go public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Reuters reported on Monday.

Byton is in talks with several SPACs and potential investors about the plan, which could see the company going public later this year, according to the report. 

The news follows last month's report that Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry (HNHPF -1.68%), better known as Foxconn, agreed to invest in Byton and to help it get its vehicles into production. Bloomberg reported that Foxconn plans to invest about $200 million in the struggling start-up, and that production of Byton's M-Byte electric SUV could begin next year.

A prototype Byton M-Byte, an electric SUV, at a recharging station.

Byton is hoping to get its M-Byte, an electric SUV, into production by the end of 2022. Image source: Byton.

Byton's other investors include the state-owned automaker FAW Group and Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology, better known as CATL.

Byton, founded in 2017 by former BMW and Nissan Motor executives, was seen at first as a potential rival to Tesla (TSLA -6.42%). But the company has been facing cash flow problems since 2019, when co-founder Carsten Breitfeld left to become CEO of a rival EV start-up, Faraday Future. 

Faraday announced last month that it will go public by the end of June, via a merger with SPAC Property Solutions Acquisition (PSAC). 

Byton had been building a factory in Nanjing, in eastern China, but construction was suspended last summer amid a restructuring of the company. Foxconn agreed to help revive that plan, and to help Byton build a supply chain that would lower its manufacturing costs. 

The Reuters report did not name the SPACs that have held talks with Byton.

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