Embark (EMBK) to Be Acquired by Applied Intuition at $2.88 Per Share
by Nicholas Alan Clayton on 2023-05-26 at 9:23am

Embark Technology (NASDAQ:EMBK), which combined with Northern Genesis II in November 2021, announced this morning that it has agreed to merge with software firm Applied Intuition.

The all-cash deal would give the company a total equity value of $71 million – a far drop from the roughly $5 billion valuation it had upon its Nasdaq debut.

Shareholders are to receive $2.88 per share in cash, but Embark completed a 20-for-1 reverse stock split in August 2022, so any investors along for the ride from the start are effectively receiving $0.144 per share.

The parties expect to close the deal in the third quarter, after which both its shares and warrants will cease trading and Embark will once again be a private company. The last time it held that status, it had reached a venture-backed valuation of $520 million following its 2019 Series C, according to Pitchbook.

Some portion of Embark’s technology will be put to use by Applied Intuition, which has helped develop autonomous driving software for many electronics manufacturers and top automakers including Toyota (NYSE:TM), Nissan (TYO:7201) and Volksvagen (FRA:VOW).

But, Embark’s fleet of test vehicles will be retired as a result of the transaction. This fleet was aimed at proving its technology could automate the highway driving for heavy trucks.

The company’s business model was based on the notion that, once proven, it could effectively charge trucking companies a competitive rate per driving hour at a time when the industry faces an acute labor shortage.

This result is likely to turn eyes towards Embark’s autonomous trucking peer Aurora (NASDAQ:AUR), which similarly de-SPAC’d with Reinvent Technology Y in November 2021 at a $10.5 billion valuation.

Aurora has faced the same scrutiny as a pre-commercialization tech stock in the current market and has fallen to a Thursday close at $1.34. But, it also had a much longer runway to work with from the get-go, raising $1.8 billion in total proceeds from its SPAC deal while Embark came away with about $300 million at close.

In fact, Aurora may even view the news positively. It noted in its May presentation that “the competitive landscape in autonomous trucking is clearing” and it remains among the last standing with projects approaching completion.

It is currently hauling freight for FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Schneider Electric (PA:SU), Uber Freight (NYSE:UBER) and others along two lanes in Texas — one running between the Dallas and Houston metro areas and the other between Dallas and El Paso.

Aurora plans to transition these pilots into a full commercial launch in the second half of 2024.

 

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