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Opinion

The SEC needs to look at unexplained moves in Spac stock

The Churchill Capital deal for electric vehicle maker Lucid was long rumoured. The share price fall when it was confirmed raises questions for regulators.

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The Lucid Air on display

Michael Klein, a former head of corporate and investment banking at Citi, has more recently made a name for himself as a sponsor of special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) carrying the name Churchill.

His first acquisition in 2019 of business information company Clarivate Analytics has provided a 300% return on IPO capital, with subsequent deals for healthcare business MultiPlan in July 2020 and for education technology company Skillsoft in October producing 25% returns.

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Michael Klein, co-founder of Churchill Capital

On Monday, Klein announced his fourth and biggest transaction to date, confirming that his NYSE-listed Churchill Capital IV (CCIV) will acquire electric vehicle maker Lucid in a deal valued at $11.75 billion.

Lucid is led by chief executive and chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson, previously vice-president of engineering at Tesla and chief engineer for its breakthrough Model S.

The pitch for Lucid is a simple one. This is a company whose listed stock you will be able to buy at a fraction of the valuation of Tesla, but which claims to have second-mover advantage and better technology.


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