Lucid Motors, the Tesla challenger that has spent the summer making its case, is going public via SPAC merger. The deal was set to be approved by shareholders on Thursday, except not enough of them showed up, which led to Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson at one point urging, “Whether you’re a Robinhood trader or managing via a traditional brokerage, please, please vote.”
The deal finally did go through Friday and Lucid will merge with Blank Check Firm
Anyway, Lucid is merging with the blank-check firm Churchill Capital IV, Bloomberg reports. It’s a funny example of what can happen when SPACs and retail investors mix. Because, traditionally, the kinds of people who own stocks are the kinds of people who know how to vote at shareholder meetings. With the rise of commission-free trading and pandemic-boredom, many investors are not that sort; this particular situation was also complicated by some kind of issue with a spam filter.
Here was the scene Thursday via Techcrunch:
Churchill chairman Michael Klein raised the possibility that some of the emails sent to shareholders were accidentally sent to voters’ spam folders. While it may seem incredible that something as low-tech as a Gmail spam filter might interrupt a multibillion dollar business merger, it seems that may have occurred in this case.
“We simply need more votes,” Klein said on an investor call Thursday. Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson was also direct: “I need you to vote for proposal two.”
“We recognize that for many of you, this voting process may be new or not standard,” Klein continued. He later thanked the many individual shareholders but urged those “participating from the new platforms, the new apps,” to vote. “They may not necessarily be directing you clearly to the voting service.”
As a reminder, the point of all of this is to mass produce an electric car, and quite a nice one. I also tend not to put a whole lot of stock (no pun intended) in these sideshows, since Lucid will live or die based on its ability to develop and sell its product, ultimately. But a guy pleading with people from “the new apps” to help get this SPAC merger over the line is a little too on the nose for 2021. I’m sure Redditors are convinced they can use all of this to their own advantage somehow.