USA / UK – When a heavyweight boxer has absorbed too much punishment, we expect the trainer’s towel to be thrown into the ring, this is the sad reality facing commercial vehicle manufacturer, Arrival Ltd* of London, UK, whose shares were delisted from the Nasdaq** stock market on January 30, 2024, due to compliance-related issues. Whilst the company has been in financial turmoil for quite some time, according to multiple media reports, they are on the verge of insolvency. Arrival confirmed that it had received a stock trading suspension notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on January 26. The news sent its share price down 15% on Monday the 29th of January with trading completely suspended on January 30, 2024. According to Sky News, the company has been in talks with accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) about acting as an administrator if the company files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
In July 2023, Arrival received a USD 283 million cash injection after a merger with a New York-based special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. Arrival was hoping that a combination of this second reverse merger and U.S. subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act would drive American demand and give it a second shot at survival. Unfortunately, no counter-punch has been landed whilst the firm staggers to its corner, battered, bruised and seemingly out of ideas to turn the fight around.
*According to Bloomberg, at its peak Arrival was developing two different electric vans and an electric bus. It was also developing a specially designed electric car for Uber drivers. But like other electric startups that collectively raised billions through SPACs, Arrival found that going from concept to mass production is both expensive and immensely difficult. The company projected 2024 revenue of USD 14 billion in its initial SPAC deal's investor presentation, but Arrival spent a combined USD 2.3 billion in 2021-2022. To conserve cash, Arrival has cut staff by almost 75% to 750 employees. It had just USD 130 million in cash at the end of the first quarter 2023 in an industry where launching a single model can easily cost USD 1 billion. The startup warned in November 2022 it would run out of cash before the end of 2023. Arrival's second SPAC is with Kensington. The rare double SPAC is being watched by others in the industry to see if it is worth replicating.
**The Nasdaq Stock Market, or simply Nasdaq, is the second-largest stock exchange in the world for investors looking to buy and sell shares of stock. Nasdaq was initially an acronym, NASDAQ, which stands for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.