Rivian Automotive to start trading after six-month delay

Rivian Automotive will begin trading today, seven months after filing for a $3.9 billion initial public offering. The maker of electric, self-driving and performance cars — which is backed by Alphabet Inc. and General…

Rivian Automotive to start trading after six-month delay

Rivian Automotive will begin trading today, seven months after filing for a $3.9 billion initial public offering.

The maker of electric, self-driving and performance cars — which is backed by Alphabet Inc. and General Motors Co. — has a value of $57.2 billion after raising $15 billion earlier this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Rivian started a public offering on Feb. 6 after pushing back the date of its plans as it waited for better market conditions. In March, President Donald Trump signed a spending bill that would grant the company an $800 million tax credit for installing batteries at its Fremont, California factory.

Rivian will debut on the Nasdaq under the symbol RIV. The company was originally expected to begin trading in late April, but postponed the initial public offering after Moody’s Investor Service warned that Rivian’s automaking unit’s ability to participate in an all-electric ride-hailing service may not be adequate. In late June, Moody’s downgraded Rivian’s corporate family rating to Ba1 from B2, and said the automaker’s $7.2 billion debt load could “cause challenges with debt service over the long term,” according to a securities filing.

Rivian is among a handful of startups working on electric vehicles that are breaking into the auto industry from Silicon Valley. The Silicon Valley company has said its chief executive officer, Daniel Kirchert, has pushed its business forward even as other electrification companies have slowed or stopped their operations. Kirchert raised $500 million in October.

Tesla Inc. has essentially ceased production of its Model X SUV, while at the same time admitting that it is having trouble keeping its showrooms stocked with the vehicles. Other startups, including Faraday Future and Lucid Motors, are facing cash troubles and have abandoned plans to develop vehicles.

Kirchert, a former Tesla engineer, argued that Tesla’s financial distress presents a great opportunity for Rivian to develop its own electric vehicle business. When Rivian announced its IPO plans in May, Kirchert told CNBC that his company would focus on developing automated assembly and manufacturing technologies, not on single vehicle engineering.

In April, Bloomberg News reported that Rivian planned to have its production facility in Fremont producing 500,000 vehicles per year and a self-driving car platform within five years.

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