Air-taxi development frontrunner Archer Aviation will move ahead on a merger with acquisition company Atlas Crest, ahead of its planned float on the New York Stock Exchange.
Atlas Crest is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), a company established for the purpose of bringing new start-ups public.
At a “special meeting” held on 14 September, almost all stockholders approved the proposed merge, with the deal set to be finalised on 16 September.
One day later, on 17 September, the newly merged company will launch on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as Archer Aviation Inc.
If successful, this would mean the company becomes publicly listed before its product has entered service.
“Archer is now assuming its place as one of the only publicly traded eVTOL companies,” Archer said upon the announcement.
It comes one month after rival eVTOL company Joby Aviation announced its IPO on the NYSE, and days after German-based air taxi maker Lilium announced its own SPAC deal ahead of going public on Nasdaq.
All three companies have their sights set to launch their eVTOL’s to the market by 2024.
“The business combination brings invaluable capital as Archer develops its all-electric aircraft,” the Palo Alto-based company added.
The merger is expected to generate roughly US$857.6 million of gross proceeds, including US$600 million of proceeds from the private investment in public equity (PIPE).
Archer’s four-passenger electric demonstrator aircraft ‘Maker’ was revealed last year, with its full-sized successor set to officially enter service by 2024.
It boasts a 95-kilometre range through battery technology, reducing carbon emissions by 100 per cent.
Earlier in September, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Archer to develop airworthiness and environmental requirements necessary for full certification of its eVTOL aircraft.
The announcement comes seven months after the merger was first revealed in February, with Archer originally listing its value at US$2.7 billion.
But Atlas slashed the valuation in July by US$1 billion as investors remained skeptical of the eVTOL market future.
In February, United Airlines in partnership with Mesa Airlines placed a US$1 billion order on Archer’s aircraft, with options for an additional US$500 million in the future.
United has recently invested billions in low emissions aircraft, placing an order of 15 Boom Supersonic Jets in June worth over US$3 billion.
The Chicago-based airline also signed an agreement with Swedish startup Heart Aerospace to purchase 100 of its electric ES-19 aircraft for short-haul flights.
Archer’s mission is to be the leader of urban air mobility, which is considered a US$1 trillion plus market, especially as consumers become more sustainably conscious.
In August, the company faced some hurdles with Californian rival Wisk Aero, seeking US$1 billon in damages following an ongoing legal dispute.
In a filing to the California district court on 10 August, Archer said Wisk claimed “knowingly false” information about its rival, which “have the plain purpose of impeding Archer’s business”.
No new information has emerged from the legal dispute.
Electric aircraft are a scam. Aircraft need to be light, batteries are heavy. The maths just doesn’t work.
As someone who has piloted an electric plane myself, I beg to differ. The technology is sound, and is only getting better. There’s a good reason companies like United Airlines are investing hundreds of millions of dollars. It is the future