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Lordstown Motors founder offloads entire stake in embattled EV maker

Credit: Lordstown

Stephen Burns, the founder and former CEO of Lordstown Motors, has sold his entire stake in the electric vehicle maker. The sale was outlined in a regulatory filing. 

Burns’ sale of his Lordstown stake was made in three transactions between May and June. About 581,000 shares were sold on May 23, just before the company initiated a reverse stock split for an average price of $0.27 per share. Another 200,000 shares were sold for an average price of $3.74 per share on May 24, and the last 591,752 shares were sold at $4.99 per share on June 16, as noted in a Bloomberg News report.

Lordstown implemented the reverse stock split in May to comply with the Nasdaq’s minimum $1 listing requirement. Lordstown’s reverse stock split was seen as an attempt to appease investor Foxconn. Reports have suggested that Foxconn threatened to scrap about $170 million worth of funding in the cash-strapped electric vehicle startup. 

Lordstown would later announce that it was looking to file legal action against the Taiwanese company to ensure that the firm’s planned purchase of almost 10% of the EV maker’s shares was not canceled. “The company believes that Foxconn’s various breaches of the investment agreement and pattern of bad faith have caused material and irreparable harm to the company,” Lordstown noted.

Burns resigned from his role as Lordstown’s CEO in 2021 alongside then-CFO Julio Rodriguez. The departures came following an internal investigation by the company board about claims that were made by “forensic financial research” firm Hindenburg Research.

Prior to its fall from grace, Lordstown seemed like it had a shot at becoming a contender in the US’ all-electric pickup truck market. The company declared that it had secured 100,000 pre-orders for its Endurance pickup truck from prospective customers, though this claim was challenged by Hindenburg. Lordstown would acknowledge that it had overstated pre-orders for the Endurance, as noted in a Reuters report, but the company would maintain that it had not misled investors about its production plans and the potential of its technology. 

The initial production of the Lordstown Endurance pickup truck started in September 2022, but it would get halted by February 2023. Recalls were added to the company’s challenges, and more recently, the Endurance was also given a shockingly low 174-mile range estimate from the EPA. The range was very low considering the Endurance’s 109 kWh battery pack. 

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Lordstown Motors founder offloads entire stake in embattled EV maker
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