Automotive Chip Company Agrees to SPAC Deal

Indie Semiconductor will go public through a blank-check merger to raise capital for its expansion efforts.
Matthew HellerDecember 15, 2020

Automotive chip and software company Indie Semiconductor said Tuesday it will go public through a blank-check merger to raise capital for its expansion efforts.

The merger with special purpose acquisition company Thunder Bridge Acquisition II values the combined company at $1.4 billion, which will trade as Indie Semiconductor on the Nasdaq exchange.

Upon closing of the deal, the new Indie will receive up to $495 million in cash, including the $345 million that Thunder Bridge raised last year from its own initial public offering. The SPAC was formed by investor Gary Simanson, a former CEO of First Avenue National Bank.

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“[Indie CEO] Donald McClymont and his team have established a leadership franchise with a differentiated product offering, having shipped over 100 million units to Tier 1 automotive suppliers globally,” Simanson said in a news release.

“By virtue of our combination, we believe that indie will have the financial firepower to accelerate the company’s strategic growth initiatives and help create an autotech pureplay powerhouse,” he added.

Indie, is based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., and was founded in 2007. It makes sensors for electric and autonomous vehicles that enable advanced driver assistance systems, including LiDAR, and connected car, user experience, and vehicle electrification applications.

The company said its addressable market is expected to exceed $38 billion by 2025 and that its strategic backlog position is valued at more than $2 billion. But it lost $17 million on sales of just $23 million in 2019, according to a presentation that accompanied the merger announcement, and does not expect to turn a profit until 2023.

“We are excited to partner with Thunder Bridge II at this key growth juncture to capitalize on our existing design win pipeline, extend Indie’s product reach, and drive scale and further consolidate within autotech,” McClymont said.

On news of the deal, Thunder Bridge’s shares jumped 2.6% to $10.69 in trading Tuesday.