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Rivian secures up to $5 billion from Volkswagen, shares soar more than 50%

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Workers assemble second-generation R1 vehicles at electric auto maker Rivian’s manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, U.S. June 21, 2024.
Joel Angel Juarez | Reuters

Volkswagen plans to invest up to $5 billion in electric vehicle startup Rivian, starting with an initial investment of $1 billion.

An additional investment of up to $2 billion is expected to take place through two tranches of $1 billion each in 2025 and 2026, followed by $2 billion in 2026 related to the expected joint venture, according to joint releases by the automakers Tuesday.

Shares of Rivian soared more than 30% during after-hours trading Tuesday – two days ahead of an investor event for Rivian, which has been under pressure from Wall Street due to its cash burn and significant losses.

The capital from VW will be in the form of a convertible note, which could be converted to Rivian shares on or after December 1.

Volkswagen is now the second legacy automaker to take a stake in the California-based company. Ford Motor was among Rivian’s largest stakeholders, at roughly 12%, alongside Amazon when Rivian went public in 2021. The Detroit automaker sold a majority of its Rivian shares by 2023 after walking back a plan to codevelop EVs with the company.

Rivian reported a loss of $1.45 billion during the first quarter of this year, as it retooled its plant in Normal, Illinois, to launch updated versions of its R1T pickup and R1S SUV EVs ahead of its next-generation vehicles in 2026.

The company has been on a cost-cutting mission for months. It has trimmed staff, retooled its Illinois plant to increase efficiencies and paused construction of a new multibillion-dollar factory in Georgia. That last measure is expected to save more than $2.25 billion in capital spending, including the impact of starting production of Rivian’s next-generation R2 vehicle at its plant in Illinois.

Rivian reported $7.86 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments to end March, with more than $9 billion in total liquidity.

This is a developing story. Please check back for additional updates.

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