Luminar to be listed on Nasdaq through merger with Gores Metropoulo

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Luminar's Iris lidar system

Lidar firm Luminar is set to become a publicly traded company through a merger with Gores Metropoulos, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of The Gores Group. 

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will retain the Luminar Technologies name and will remain listed on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol 'LAZR'. It will have an implied pro forma enterprise value of approximately $2.9 billion and an equity value of approximately $3.4 billion at closing.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Austin Russell, Luminar is a lidar technology company for consumer cars and trucking. The company is partnered with 7 of the top 10 global automakers and employs more than 350 people. Starting in 2022, Luminar’s hardware and software will be integrated into Volvo’s global vehicle platform, the foundation for their next generation of consumer vehicles. 

'This milestone is pivotal not just for us, but also for the larger automotive industry,' said Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar. 'Eight years ago, we took on a problem to which most thought there would be no technically or commercially viable solution. We worked relentlessly to build the tech from the ground up to solve it and partnered directly with the leading global automakers to show the world what’s possible. Today, we are making our next industry leap.'

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Alec Gores, CEO of Gores Metropoulos, commented, 'Luminar represents a rare opportunity to invest in the leading player in autonomous driving technology for cars and trucks. We are excited to partner with a visionary founder like Austin who has developed from scratch the only lidar technology that meets the most stringent OEM specification requirements for safety and performance.'

Transaction overview

After giving effect to any redemptions by the public stockholders of Gores Metropoulos, the balance of approximately $400 million cash held in Gores Metropoulos, together with the $170 million in immediate financing proceeds, will remain in the company and a portion will be used to pay transaction expenses. As part of the transaction, Luminar’s stockholders will receive approximately 271.8 million shares of Gores Metropoulos common stock at closing.

The $170 million investment made directly into Luminar is led by institutional investors including Alec Gores, Van Tuyl Companies, Peter Thiel, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Crescent Cove, Moore Strategic Ventures, Nick & Jill Woodman and VectoIQ, with the majority of the major existing investors participating. Net transaction proceeds will remain in the company and support continued growth across key verticals as Luminar executes on significant production and development opportunities.

All current Luminar stockholders will roll the entirety of their existing equity holdings into the combined company. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Luminar and Gores Metropoulos, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

Following completion of the transaction, Luminar will retain its experienced management team. Founder Austin Russell will continue to serve as CEO and Tom Fennimore will continue to serve as CFO. Alec Gores will join the Luminar board of directors upon closing of the transaction.

Luminar has also announced it has scaled its software team with the addition of 16 former members of Samsung’s Munich-based DRVLINE platform team that were previously responsible for delivering ADAS functionality to its mobility customers. This expansion will allow Luminar to bring a full-stack lidar-based ADAS and Level 4 highway autonomy product offering to market.

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