L Catterton SPAC extends discount period before Lotus Tech merger

By Dave Sebastian

A blank check company formed by private equity firm L. Catterton is extending the deadline to complete the deal after agreeing to take electric vehicle maker Lotus Technologies Inc. public.

L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp. It had to complete the deal by March 15 — 24 months after the closing of its initial public offering — or risk bankruptcy. The special-purpose acquisition company agreed to extend the deadline to March 15, 2024, according to the merger agreement it released on Tuesday.

L Catterton Asia Acquisition and Lotus Tech said the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

SPACs are shell companies that raise money from investors and go public, with the goal of combining with a private company to go public.

L Catterton Asia Acquisition’s board must approve the SPAC’s charter amendment before February 15, extending the deal’s deadline from March 15 to June 15, the companies said. The SPAC board may extend the deadline up to nine times per month until March 15, 2024, at the sponsor’s request, he added.

The deal is one of the largest recent SPAC transactions as average merger values ​​have fallen amid high interest rates and a slowing economy. L Catterton Asia Acquisition and Lotus Tech expect the combined company to be worth about $5.4 billion, including about $288 million in cash from the SPAC trust account.

China-based Lotus Tech makes luxury EVs under the UK-based Lotus brand. It joins EV makers and suppliers in Asia rushing to capital markets to cash in, as they try to take advantage of the surge in demand for energy-efficient automobiles. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, one of China’s largest car makers, is the majority owner of Lotus Tech.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

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