Nikola Corporation announced today that it has acquired Romeo Power, Inc. in an all-stock transaction that will spearhead Nikola’s recent announcement that it would build its own battery packs in-house.
Romeo Power is based in Cypress, California, and focuses on designing and producing lithium-ion battery packs for commercial EVs. Nikola is Romeo’s largest customer, according to a press release Nikola shared with Teslarati this morning, and expects the acquisition will improve operation and reduce costs.
“Romeo has been a valued supplier to Nikola,” the company’s CEO Mark Russell said, “and we are excited to further leverage their technological capabilities as the landscape for vehicle electrification grows more sophisticated. With control over the essential battery pack technologies and manufacturing process, we believe we will be able to accelerate the development of our electrification platform and better serve our customers.
In mid-June, at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference, Nikola stated it would be exploring the possibility of manufacturing its own battery packs in-house, provided that sourcing was available to the company. However, CFO Kim Brady said that it would likely take place in 2024.
Nikola expects the in-house manufacturing of its battery packs and the continued development of its products to help improve “significant operational improvement and cost reduction for one of the most expensive components of the bill of materials.” The company is focused on vertical integration, which not only reduces costs but also makes the company less dependent on suppliers. Its fate lies in its own hands in terms of parts shortages.
The company suggests it will save up to 30 or 40 percent by the end of 2023 on non-cell-related battery pack costs.
The transaction was approved by both Nikola’s and Romeo Power’s Board of Directors. “Under the terms of the agreement, Romeo stockholders will receive 0.1186 of a share of Nikola common stock for each Romeo share, representing an equity value of approximately $144 million and 4.5% pro forma ownership of Nikola,” the press release said. The transaction is expected to be completed by October 2022.
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