Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. and self-driving trucking software developer Plus on Monday called off their planned PSPC merger, a break telegraphed in recent weeks by Hennessy’s claim that regulations outside of the United States – likely China – were a too big an obstacle to overcome.
The termination is effective immediately since Monday was the “deadline” for the business combination to take effect. It was not clear whether HCIC shareholders who had invested in Hennessy’s initial public offering and private equity investment (PIPE) would immediately receive their funds or whether Hennessy would seek a new merger target. .
“HCIC was created to merge with a company that provides sustainable technologies,” said Daniel J. Hennessy, president and CEO of HCIC V, in a statement. Press release. “We believe in the potential of autonomous trucks to transform the trucking industry and in Plus’s ability to continue its global deployment of autonomous trucking technology.
Since both parties have mutually agreed to the termination, neither pays a termination fee.
Hennessy left the door open for the two companies to work together.
“We remain optimistic that the parties may once again explore a short-term business combination that will further advance sustainable transportation,” he said.
Hennessy is a seasoned creator of shell companies funded by “blank” investors seeking to profit from a merger with a start-up or start-up company.
Hennessy sponsored the public debut of flatbed logistics company Daseke Inc. (NASDAQ: DSKE) in 2017 and more recently supported start-up electric vehicle maker Canoo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOEV) among the four previous sponsorships of PSPC. Canoo is the subject of a broad SEC investigation.
$ 3.3 billion deal canceled
HCIC V raised $ 345 million in an initial public offering in January. An additional $ 150 million was raised from funds participating in PIPE, which was smaller than many other surveys, even in a cooling PSPC market.
The deal was initially expected to bring in $ 500 million in cash and a valuation of $ 3.3 billion at Plus in the third quarter. But a September 27 Securities and Exchange Commission filing suggested the deal was in trouble.
“In light of recent developments in the regulatory environment outside of the United States, Plus and HCIC are discussing a potential restructuring of the PSPC merger and business combination,” HCIC said on the record, without specifically mentioning China.
Plus the difficulty telegraphed by omitting the reference to the PSPC merger in its last two press releases. PSPC had been mentioned at the top of previous versions.
Despite an agreement to provide PlusDrive software upgrades to 1,000 Amazon trucks with the possibility that Amazon could get a mandate to buy up to 20% of Plus, the Cupertino, Calif.-Based company is increasingly considered to operate primarily in China, where First Auto Works is its manufacturing joint venture partner and performs factory installations of PlusDrive software.
“Plus has achieved tremendous momentum in executing our plans to bring self-driving trucks to the global market. In 2021, we started delivering our driverless autonomous driving solution, PlusDrive, to customers and have received thousands of pre-orders, ”said David Liu, Co-Founder and CEO of Plus.
“We also carried out a demonstration of a fully autonomous truck on a highway [in China] that showed the future of trucking.
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