July 23, 2021 1:15 PM, EDT

Lucid Clinches SPAC Deal With 11th-Hour Appeal

The Lucid Air prototype electric vehicle The Lucid Air prototype electric vehicle manufactured by Lucid Motors Inc. stands at company headquarters in Newark, Calif. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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Lucid Motors Inc.’s last-gasp appeal to investors succeeded in pushing through approval for the electric-car startup’s deal to go public by merging with a blank-check company.

Churchill Capital Corp. IV, the special-purpose acquisition company that’s buying closely held Lucid, said July 23 the companies rounded up enough extra votes from Churchill shareholders after extending the voting deadline. The stock gained 2.5% in midday trading in New York.

“We thank our shareholders, both institutional and retail, both new and old for their overwhelming support,” said Michael Klein, the investment banker who founded Churchill, during the July 23 shareholder meeting. The meeting had been adjourned from the previous day after no-show shareholders left the deal short of votes.

The hiccup is just one example of what can happen when two pandemic-era megatrends — the rise of the individual investor and the SPAC boom — collide. In this case, executives had to coach novice investors who may have learned about the stock on Reddit or bought it on platforms such as Robinhood, and who didn’t know about the vote or how to participate.

Lucid and Churchill appealed to investors multiple times in print, in video, on social media and on Reddit, at one point begging them to vote. Klein actually spelled out the web address and phone numbers for Churchill’s proxy solicitor and asked holders to check their spam folders for proxy voting materials. Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson echoed Klein: “Whether you’re a Robinhood trader or managing via a traditional brokerage, please, please vote.”

Their call to vote was eventually answered. The deal closed and the combined entity will be renamed Lucid Group and trade under the symbol LCID at the start of next week.

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