Exclusive: Air taxi startup Joby explores deal to go public - sources
By Joshua Franklin and Anirban Sen (Reuters) - Electric passenger aircraft developer Joby Aero Inc is exploring a deal to go public through a merger with a blank-check acquisition firm at a valuation of around $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Joby has hired investment banks to solicit interest from so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) about a potential deal, the sources said.
By Joshua Franklin and Anirban Sen
(Reuters) - Electric passenger aircraft developer Joby Aero Inc is exploring a deal to go public through a merger with a blank-check acquisition firm at a valuation of around $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Joby has hired investment banks to solicit interest from so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) about a potential deal, the sources said.
The sources requested anonymity because the discussions are confidential and cautioned that no deal is certain. Joby did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Joby is developing an all-electric, zero-emissions vertical aircraft which it is aiming to deploy as an air taxi service by 2023 at the earliest. The Santa Cruz, California-based company last month agreed to take over Uber Technologies Inc's flying taxi unit Elevate. Uber took a stake in Joby as part of the deal.
Joby has raised more than $800 million in private funding since it was founded in 2009 and in 2020 was valued at $2.6 billion, according to PitchBook, which tracks private fundraisings. Joby's backers include Toyota Motor Corp and Intel Corp.
A SPAC is a shell company that raises funds in an initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of acquiring a private company, which then becomes public as result of the merger. For the company being acquired, the merger is an alternative way to go public over a traditional IPO.
SPACs emerged last year as one of the most popular investment vehicles on Wall Street.
A deal for Joby would come on the heels of another SPAC deal in the sector. Air taxi company Blade Urban Air Mobility agreed to merge last month with Blade, Experience Investment Corp, driving up the latter's shares by 50%.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in Miami and Anirban Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.