Autonomous EV Maker ICONIQ to Enter SPAC Merger With East Stone Acquisition

ICONIQ and East Stone plan to form the Pubco subsidiary, which will be listed on Nasdaq.


ICONIQ's concept electric and autonomous vehicles.
ICONIQ, an autonomous and electric vehicle manufacturer that now does business as NWTN, is establishing a new subsidiary with East Stone Corp.

East Stone Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, last week announced it is entering a business agreement with ICONIQ Holding Ltd., a maker of autonomous electric vehicle technologies that does business as NWTN.

NWTN said it is a green mobility technology company focused on what it called SPVs for “smart passenger vehicles.” Alan Wu is the founder and chairman of the company.

ICONIQ said in its announcement of the agreement that it was based in Dubai, but the company's LinkedIn profile said it was headquarted in Shanghai.

A new subsidiary to be formed

At the completion of the agreement, a new subsidiary called the Pubco will be formed. The companies will seek to list it on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The outstanding shares of NWTN and East Stone will be converted into “right to receive” shares of Pubco. Wu is expected to lead Pubco after the closing of the business agreement.

“In NWTN we have found a company that has the vision, courage, and talent to change the automobile industry,” said Xiaoma “Sherman” Lu, CEO of East Stone. “We believe that NWTN’s insights on the value of the passenger-centric experience will drive NWTN into a blue-ocean market with enormous opportunity, functioning as the hub of future intelligent mobility life.”

Upon closing and subject to adjustment, the transaction represents a post-combination valuation of $2.5 billion for NWTN.

Building vehicles for the 'environmentally conscious'

NWTN said its core technology advantages are characterized by its modular electric platform, digital on-board connectivity system, continuously upgraded electric and electronic architecture as well as its autonomous driving technology. It said its primary target consumers are technology-savvy families and businesses who are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious.

“NWTN was born with a mission to bringing a passenger-centric green premium mobility solution to the world, said Wu. “To achieve this objective, our experienced international team and reputable strategic partners have been working relentlessly on our SPVs, a segment with remarkably untapped market potential where NWTN continues to lead.” 

All these technical elements, along with its unique design language, contribute to NWTN’s vision of a passenger-centric experience, the company said.  

The boards of directors of NWTN and East Stone have approved the merger, subject to, among other things:

  • The approval by East Stone’s shareholders of the proposed business combination
  • Satisfaction of the conditions stated in the business combination agreement and other customary closing conditions, including that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completes its review of the proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed merger
  • The receipt of certain regulatory approvals
  • Approval by The Nasdaq Stock Market to list the securities of Pubco.

Prior to the execution of this business combination agreement, East Stone has terminated its previously announced business combination agreement with JHD Holdings (Cayman) Ltd.

A concept video of ICONIQ's L5.

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ICONIQ's concept electric and autonomous vehicles.

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