The SPAC merger of Plus has been canceled, but the deal with Amazon continues


Plus trucking tech company won’t merge with a blank check company as intended, was announced this week, but the company’s large order from Amazon for driver assistance systems remains intact.

The termination of the deal with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V has “no impact” on Plus’s ability to continue to supply its retrofit PlusDrive product to Amazon or other customers, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

Amazon has ordered 1,000 of the driver assistance systems in February, according to the spokesperson, and Plus has already begun delivery. It is unclear how many have been shipped so far.

The order marked a substantial development for more, as well as the planned merger with Hennessy, a finalized acquisitions firm – better known as SPAC – unveiled in May. The merger would have added $ 500 million in cash to the company’s coffers and valued it at $ 3.3 billion.

Citing “recent developments in the regulatory environment outside the United States,” both companies agreed to terminate the pending deal on Tuesday. Although neither company has come up with it, it is likely the last company to rethink Its initial public offering plans following the Chinese government’s push back on Chinese companies moving forward with US quotes.

Furthermore, which operates in both China and the United States, has not ruled out renewing discussions with Hennessy in the future.

“We remain optimistic that the parties can once again explore a short-term business combination that will further advance sustainable transportation,” said Daniel Hennessy, CEO of the blank check firm, in a written statement.

Among the automated driving companies joining the thriving realm of trucking, Plus is unique in pursuing a technological path that includes driver assistance features that evolve into autonomous driving systems. Competitors like TuSimple, Gatik, and Kodiak Robotics, on the other hand, are all pursuing a business path that takes humans away from the task of driving.

This year, more removed human security backup behind the wheel during testing in China. Gatik achieved a similar milestone in August and has two driverless trucks that drive a seven-mile route in Arkansas daily.

Gatik works with Walmart, while Amazon is a plum customer for Plus. Another ongoing customer for the PlusDrive system is the Chinese production of FAW trucks. Additionally, it claims to have pre-orders from Chinese fleets such as Rokin, Dhihong, and Duckbill. Together, Plus predicts that more than 100,000 of its PlusDrive systems will be in circulation by the end of 2025.

Plus CEO David Liu said early feedback from Amazon drivers who experimented with the system was positive.

“So far, he’s been tremendously excited,” he said Automotive News in August. “Our system offers a much better level of comfort for the driver and much better safety and fuel economy. Our customers are quite satisfied with what we can offer.”

Starting late next year, these systems will be enhanced with long-range lidar sensors supplied by Aeva. The two companies said Wednesday that they have reached an agreement on a manufacturing contract that includes integrating the sensors into Plus’s fully autonomous driving assistance systems starting in late 2022.


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