Archer Moves Forward With Plans to Go Public

Company makes announcement just a week after it says it will seek $1 billion in damages from rival.

Electric air taxi developer Archer Aviation says it is moving forward with a planned merger next month that will take the company public amid an ongoing legal dispute with rival Wisk Aero.

The agreement with Atlas Crest Investment Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is expected to be voted on by Atlas shareholders during a September 14 meeting. SPACs have gained popularity as a way for smaller private companies to offer stocks without going through the traditional, and cumbersome, process of becoming a publicly traded company.

If approved, Palo Alto, Caliornia.-based Archer would be the second electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to go public in the past month. On August 11, Joby officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange under “JOBY” as part of a merger with a SPAC called Reinvent Technology Partners. The deal was valued at $6.6 billion. And Lilium is expected to vote September 10 on a SPAC merger with Qell Acquisition Corp., allowing it to list on the Nasdaq.

Archer had positioned itself to go public at a valuation of $2.7 billion, but has since lowered that by $1 billion—a 37.9% drop. In documents filed with the SEC, the company says the shift reflects “a strategic decision to drive long-term value creation for all Atlas stockholders.”

In January, Archer announced that United Airlines placed an order for $1 billion worth of aircraft, with an option to order more at the same unit price for an additional aggregate base purchase price of up to $500 million.

Archer confirmed its plans to move ahead with the Atlas deal on August 18, just a week after saying it was seeking $1 billion in damages from Wisk for making damaging statements against the company.

The two eVTOL developers have been locked in a battle since earlier this year, when Wisk accused Archer of stealing design secrets. Archer has denied the claims.

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