Nikola (NKLA) disclosed that Hanwha will sell up to half its stake in the embattled electric-truck startup. Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN) expanded road testing of Rivian’s electric vans. Nikola stock fell.
South Korea’s Hanwha, which has a 5.65% stake, intends to sell up to 11.1 million shares of Nikola stock, worth about $180 million as of Wednesday’s closing price, according to regulatory filings.
“Hanwha remains an important strategic partner and continues to play an active role on Nikola’s board of directors,” Nikola said in a statement late Wednesday.
In 2018, Hanwha took a stake in the maker of electric semi-trucks and is a supplier of solar panels for Nikola’s hydrogen-fueling network. But Hanwha has seen Nikola stock nearly halve in value since it came public last year, after a short-seller accused the Phoenix-based company of fraud.
The Korean conglomerate’s move comes after auto-parts giant Robert Bosch also sold Nikola stock in November, paring its stake to 4.9% from 6.4% by selling about 4 million shares.
That same month, General Motors (GM) abandoned plans to take an equity stake in Nikola and become a manufacturing partner on an electric pickup truck. Nikola still plans to build both all-electric and fuel-cell vehicles for long-haul trucking.
Shares lost 5% to 15.51 in Thursday’s stock market trading. Nikola stock remains below the 50-day line and its RS line shows significant lag. Amazon stock added 0.1%, testing the converged 50- and 200-day lines. Among other makers of electric trucks, Lordstown Motors (RIDE) dived 9.4% after disclosing an SEC probe into short-seller claims, and Tesla (TSLA) lost 3%.
Meanwhile, Amazon is testing electric delivery vans from Rivian on the streets of San Francisco, expanding a testing program that began in Los Angeles last month. It will further expand the program to 14 cities this year.
In 2019, Amazon agreed to buy 100,000 custom-built, last-mile delivery vans from Rivian. Eventually, the e-commerce giant seeks to have its entire delivery fleet run on clean energy. Since the start of 2019, big investors have poured roughly $8 billion into Rivian, including Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund in a January 2021 funding round.
Rivian’s launch vehicles, the R1T truck and R1S SUV, are due to arrive as soon as this summer. The all-electric vehicles boast impressive specs and target off-road adventurers.
Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.
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