Prime Mover Magazine


Electric powertrain startup goes public, intensifies rivalry with Nikola, Tesla

Startup manufacturer of diesel-electric truck components, Hyliion Inc, will trade stocks by as early as September following its merger with special purpose acquisition company Tortoise.

The combined company is expected to yield $560 million of proceeds from the $325 million private investment in public equity along with at least $235 million of cash held in trust.

After the merger announcement last week, Tortoise shares jumped from around $10 to $18. The implied market capitalisation of Hyliion is $1.5 billion.

Described as a “blank check” company created specifically to find a marriage partner with high-growth potential, Tortoise had evaluated some 200 companies before settling on Hyliion, whose charter has been to reduce carbon intensity and greenhouse gas emissions of heavy duty commercial vehicles as a provider of electrified powertrain solutions since it was founded in 2015.

Leveraging advanced software algorithms and data analytics capabilities, Hyliion offers fleets an easy and efficient system to decrease operating and fuel expenses while seamlessly integrating with their existing fleet operations.

It designs, develops and sells electrified powertrain solutions for Heavy Duty Class 8 trucks compatible with any of the leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, transforming the transportation industry's environmental impact at scale.

Upon pending merger approval by US Securities and Exchange Commission, the new company will be called Hyliion Holdings Corp.

It follows the recent decision of hydrogen truck manufacturer Nikola Corp to go public on 4 June.

Its merger with VectoIQ boosted Nikola shares by 103.7 per cent earlier in the month.

Marathon Capital acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Hyliion Inc ahead of the merger.

"Hyliion's unique electrified powertrain solutions are revolutionising the industry and enabling the transition to a decarbonized and more sustainable transportation future, while also reducing the total cost of ownership for their customers," Jeremy Hux, Senior Managing Director and Head of Sustainable and Energy Technologies at Marathon Capital.

"It was a pleasure partnering with Thomas and the Hyliion team throughout this important transaction, the next step in their accelerated growth as the leading powertrain provider of electrified solutions for the commercial vehicle industry," he said.

Founder and CEO of Hyliion Thomas Healy acknowledged Hux had been an invaluable partner and advisor throughout the process. 

"The Marathon team continuously demonstrated their deep industry expertise and the breadth of their knowledge and experience across the merger and financing components of our transaction," he said in a statement.

Based in Austin, Texas, Hyliion, upgrades heavy duty commercial vehicles to run on dual fuel sources.

The first of its three 6x4HE Class 8 models in partnership with Dana, was delivered to Penske Truck Leasing in February.

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