On the same day that Tesla filed for bankruptcy protection, Rivian’s share price soared more than 1,000 percent. The motive? For much of the last two years, investors had not been able to put a price on a potential investment in the electric truck venture, specifically on whether the stock would go public.
In February 2017, Musk’s electric automaker filed a prospectus for a $1 billion initial public offering, or IPO. That prospectus mentioned Rivian as an investor, and it appears that Musk’s ambition to dominate the crowded electric truck business put a lid on the cost of publicly owning it.
The Rivian announcement not only captivated the truck industry, but Wall Street. Shares of Rivian — a Tennessee-based company that invented and debuted the first all-electric pick-up truck, the R1T — skyrocketed after its IPO on Thursday. Shares of the public company had risen by 36 percent by midday on Friday. Rivian first announced it was filing a PIPE financing transaction with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, giving a larger group of investors access to the shares of its equity.
But the clock is still ticking for Elon Musk. The closely held company faces a deadline to raise new money through an IPO or a secondary stock offering after it sent a letter to Musk last June as well as to Securities and Exchange Commission regulators in December indicating that it was close to a run-off — when a vehicle goes from being privately owned to publicly owned.
Asked for comment at Tesla, a spokesman referred The New York Times to a blog post written by Mr. Musk in February 2017, in which he said he was discussing with advisers about partnering with a private equity firm to provide the money necessary to get Tesla’s offering of bonds priced and launched.
At that time, he said the offering was initially aimed at “entering the market at an appropriate price,” although he had also considered doing a public offering.