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Self-driving car tech firm Quanergy in China-backed SPAC deal to go public

·2-min read

By Echo Wang

(Reuters) - Quanergy Systems Inc, a supplier of self-driving car technology, said on Tuesday it will go public through a merger with Chinese blank-check company CITIC Capital Acquisition Corp.

Quanergy is the latest company developing LiDAR technology - which uses laser beams to help generate a three-dimensional map of the road - to turn to a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to go public.

Others that have done so include Peter Thiel-backed Luminar Technologies Inc and AEye Inc.

The SPAC deal values Quanergy at $1.1 billion, and the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, the company said in a news release.

Reuters first reported the company's plan to go public on Monday.

CCAC raised around $240 million in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in February 2020. It is sponsored by CITIC Capital Holdings Limited, which is backed by CITIC Group, China’s largest investment conglomerate.

Under the proposed SPAC deal, Quanergy shareholders would own about 72% of the combined company, while SPAC shareholders would own around 20%, with most of the remainder going to outside investors.

Sunnyvale, California-based Quanergy, founded in 2012, said it is the only major LiDAR provider to use Optical Phased Array (OPA) technology, which reduces movable parts and which the company said is better for the requirements of the automotive industry.

"The OPA technology is very unique, and is essential for high-volume, low-cost, high-performance, high-reliability markets," Quanergy CEO Kevin Kennedy told Reuters. "But in the near term, the largest markets are really the internet of things (IoT) - so the industrial markets, robots, smart cities, and security.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that we use the IoT market as a bridge to the volumes of automotive that really come on strong in the second half of the decade," Kennedy said. "So the capital infusion is important."

(Reporting by Echo Wang in Asheville, N.C.; Editing by Stephen Coates and Matthew Lewis)

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