REUTERS -Shares of Lucid Group Inc rose as much as 11per cent on their Nasdaq debut on Monday after the electric-vehicle maker completed its merger with a blank-check company backed by Wall Street dealmaker Michael Klein.

The luxury electric-vehicle maker, run by an ex-Tesla engineer, had agreed to go public in February through a merger with Churchill Capital Corp IV. The merger gave the combined company a pro-forma equity value of US$24 billion.

Lucid’s listing is a huge dividend for the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which had invested over US$1 billion in the electric-car maker in 2018 to take a substantial stake. PIF, in a tweet, congratulated Lucid after it went public today.

Shares of Lucid, which opened at US$25.24, were up 6.5per cent in early trading.

With emission regulations being made tougher in Europe and elsewhere, the Biden administration’s green wave push in the U.S. as well as the rise of electric-car maker Tesla Inc have investors rushing into the EV sector.

Other prominent players in the sector went public through mergers with so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) last year. While some deals such as Fisker have delivered, others such as Nikola have given up short-term gains.

Although SPACs had gained immense popularity among retail traders as well as Wall Street funds last year, a fear of a bubble and frothy valuations triggered a sell-off in shares of SPACs in March.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar in Dubai; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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