Exclusive: Air taxi start-up Joby explores deal to go public – sources

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In this news, we discuss the Exclusive: Air taxi start-up Joby explores deal to go public – sources

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(Reuters) – Electric passenger plane developer Joby Aero Inc is considering deal to go public through a merger with a blank check acquisition company worth around $ 5 billion, people close to it say folder.

Joby has hired investment banks to solicit the interest of so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) in a potential deal, the sources said.

The sources requested anonymity as the discussions are confidential and warned that no deal is certain. Joby declined to comment.

Joby is developing an all-electric, zero-emission vertical plane that he intends to deploy as an air taxi service by 2023 at the earliest. The Santa Cruz, Calif.-Based company agreed last month 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 its inception in 2009 and in 2020 it was valued at $ 2.6 billion, according to PitchBook, which tracks private fundraising. Joby’s backers include Toyota Motor Corp and Intel Corp.

A SPAC is a shell company that raises funds through an initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of acquiring a private company, which then goes public as a result of the merger. For the acquired company, the merger is a alternative way to go public with a traditional IPO.

PSPCs emerged as one of Wall Street’s most popular investment vehicles last year.

A deal for Joby would follow another PSPC deal in the industry. Air taxi company Blade Urban Air Mobility agreed to merge with Blade, Experience Investment Corp last month, increasing the latter’s shares by 50%.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in Miami and Anirban Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Original © Thomson Reuters

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