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Vietnamese EV maker VinFast set to trade on Nasdaq via SPAC

Illustration of an electric vehicle plugged in, the charging wire has dollar bill signs running inside of it towards the car.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vietnamese electric vehicle company VinFast could trade on the Nasdaq as soon as next Tuesday following the approval of its merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

Why it matters: The public markets haven't been kind to unprofitable electric vehicle players that have gone public via SPAC, but VinFast was founded out of Vietnam's largest conglomerate and by the country's richest man.

Details: VinFast is merging with Hong Kong-based Black Spade Acquisition, which voted on Thursday to approve the merger. The deal values VinFast at $23 billion, said the companies in a statement.

  • Over 80% of the shareholders in Black Spade had opted to redeem their shares before the merger in July, reported Reuters. The merger will not raise new funding for the company.
  • Six-year-old VinFast was founded out of Vingroup, Vietnam's largest company, and started making EVs in 2021. The company says it's sold 18,700 EVs globally and has another 26,000 reservations.
  • VinFast started building an EV plant in North Carolina in late July, which is planned to have production capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year.
  • The company isn't profitable and reported a first quarter revenue drop of 49% from the previous year along with a net loss of $598 million. For the full year 2022, the company posted a loss of $2.1 billion.

Big picture: Electric vehicle companies that have gone public via SPACs have struggled.

  • Proterra, Electric Last Mile Solution and Lordstown all filed for bankruptcy in recent months after seeing their shares plummet following mergers with public market SPACs.
  • Other struggling EV companies that have gone public via SPAC include Nikola, Canoo, Fisker, Workhorse, Lucid, Faraday Future and Lion Electric.

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