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Luminar, the global leader in automotive lidar technology powering the introduction of highway autonomy, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Gores Metropoulos, Inc., a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of The Gores Group, LLC, a global investment firm founded in 1987 by Alec Gores, and by an affiliate of Dean Metropoulos of Metropoulos & Co. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will retain the Luminar Technologies, Inc. name and will remain listed on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol “LAZR.”
Founded in 2012 by CEO Austin Russell, Luminar is the leading autonomous vehicle and lidar technology company for consumer cars and trucking. Luminar is partnered with seven of the top 10 global automakers and is set to power the introduction of highway self-driving and next-generation safety systems. Over 350 people strong, Luminar has built a new type of lidar from the chip-level up with breakthroughs across all core components. As a result, Luminar has created the only lidar sensor that meets the stringent performance, safety and cost requirements for Level 3–Level 5 autonomous vehicles. Integrating this advanced hardware with Luminar’s custom developed software stack enables a turn-key autonomous solution to accelerate widespread adoption with automakers.
Starting in 2022, Luminar’s hardware and software will be integrated into Volvo’s global vehicle platform, the foundation for their next generation of consumer vehicles. In parallel, Luminar’s technology will also enable a new benchmark for vehicle safety surpassing today’s advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) with proactive safety features.
“This milestone is pivotal not just for us, but also for the larger automotive industry,” said Austin Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar. “Eight years ago, we took on a problem to which most thought there would be no technically or commercially viable solution. We worked relentlessly to build the tech from the ground up to solve it and partnered directly with the leading global automakers to show the world what’s possible. Today, we are making our next industry leap through our new long-term partnership with Gores Metropoulos, a team that has deep experience in technology and automotive and shares our vision of a safe autonomous future powered by Luminar.”
Alec Gores, CEO of Gores Metropoulos, commented, “Luminar represents a rare opportunity to invest in the leading player in autonomous driving technology for cars and trucks. We are excited to partner with a visionary founder like Austin who has developed from scratch the only lidar technology that meets the most stringent OEM specification requirements for safety and performance. Luminar is well positioned to dominate the autonomous landscape and together, we look forward to shaping the future of automotive transportation.”
The combined company will have an implied pro forma enterprise value of approximately $2.9 billion and an equity value of approximately $3.4 billion at closing. After giving effect to any redemptions by the public stockholders of Gores Metropoulos, the balance of approximately $400 million cash held in Gores Metropoulos, together with the $170 million in immediate financing proceeds, will remain in the company and a portion will be used to pay transaction expenses. As part of the transaction, Luminar’s stockholders will receive approximately 271.8 million shares of Gores Metropoulos common stock at closing. The $170 million investment made directly into Luminar is led by institutional investors including Alec Gores, Van Tuyl Companies, Peter Thiel, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Crescent Cove, Moore Strategic Ventures, Nick & Jill Woodman and VectoIQ, with the majority of the major existing investors participating. Net transaction proceeds will remain in the company and support continued growth across key verticals as Luminar executes on significant production and development opportunities.