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Nikola Partner Hanwha to Sell 50% of Stake in EV Startup

Nikola Corp. is seeing one other strategic accomplice promote down its stake as South Korea’s Hanwha Group signaled its intention to liquidate half of its holdings in the troubled electric-truck startup.

Hanwha, which Nikola has described as a key accomplice and strategic investor, plans to promote 11.05 million shares, or 50% of its present stake in the Phoenix-based company, in accordance to a securities submitting Wednesday. Hanwha Corp. is the publicly traded holding arm of the group, a conglomerate spanning monetary companies, chemical and photo voltaic power.

The quantity to be offered is price about $175 million at present share costs. The stock pared a drop of as a lot as 4.2% in the premarket Thursday, falling 3.8% to $15.76 as of 8:52 a.m. in New York.

The sale comes as Nikola makes an attempt to get better from a blow to its credibility triggered by a short-seller report final year and after one other key investor and accomplice, Robert Bosch Gmbh, slashed its stake in the company three months in the past.

“Hanwha stays an necessary strategic accomplice and continues to play an energetic function on Nikola’s board of administrators,” Nikola said in an emailed statement.

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A representative from Hanwha said on Thursday that it plans to sell the shares from June 9 until Dec. 10 and “might not sell the whole 50%.” Hanwha plans to use the proceeds to assist develop its power transition business in addition to its hydrogen business. The company will keep in a strategic partnership with Nikola, the consultant added.

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Nikola plans to launch its first zero-emission gas cell-powered truck in 2023, full the primary part of a manufacturing facility beneath building in Arizona by year-end and build the primary of up to 700 hydrogen fueling stations beginning subsequent quarter.

It has mentioned Hanwha will provide third-party photo voltaic farms with panels wanted to generate electrical energy for manufacturing of “clear power” hydrogen for a deliberate community of refueling stations in the U.S. Hanwha purchased its stake in 2018, two years earlier than Nikola gained a public stock itemizing in June by way of a reverse-merger with a particular goal acquisition company.

Nikola was one of the primary of many EV startups focused by SPACs and at one time noticed its valuation surpass the market capitalization surpass of established automakers reminiscent of Ford Motor Co. But the stock collapsed amid concern about federal probes after the brief vendor’s allegations, which the company had strongly denied final year.

An inner probe of these allegations of deception disclosed final month subsequently discovered a number of circumstances involving inaccurate statements, together with seven made by its former chairman and founder, Trevor Milton, who stepped down in September.

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