Shares of Lucid Motors tanked Monday morning after the electric car maker disclosed that its been slapped with a subpoena as part of an investigation into the merger that took Lucid public earlier this year.
“On December 3, 2021, [Lucid] received a subpoena from the [Securities and Exchange Commission] requesting the production of certain documents related to an investigation by the SEC,” Lucid, which was formerly known as Atieva, said Monday in a disclosure filed with the SEC.
“Although there is no assurance as to the scope or outcome of this matter, the investigation appears to concern the business combination between the Company (f/k/a Churchill Capital Corp. IV) and Atieva, Inc. and certain projections and statements.”
Lucid said it’s “cooperating fully” with the investigation. Churchill did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.
The stock plummeted about 14 percent and was last seen trading at $40.72 per share in pre-market trading.
Before that, Lucid stock had roughly doubled in November amid a surge in all-electric car stocks, giving Lucid a market valuation of some $76 billion, about the same as auto industry giant Ford — even though Lucid only recently began delivery of its first cars.
Lucid went public earlier this year through one of the largest ever special purpose acquisition company deals, in which a publicly-traded blank-check company merges with a privately held firm, which then takes the blank-check company’s spot on the public markets.
Lucid went public through a merger with veteran dealmaker Michael Klein’s Churchill Capital Corp. IV that gave Lucid a pro-forma equity value of $24 billion.
SPAC mergers exploded in popularity over the past two years and became especially common in the electric vehicle start-up space, with Nikola, Fisker and Lordstown all merging with SPACs.
But SPACs are frequently criticized by those who say it’s a way for companies to go public while avoiding the investor scrutiny of an initial public offering and offering rosy projects that aren’t necessarily tied to reality.
Since going public, both Nikola and Lordstown have both become the targets of federal investigations, giving fodder to critics of the financial instrument.
It’s not clear exactly what aspects of Lucid’s merger with Churchill Capital is being investigated, though the SEC earlier this year suggested they would step up scrutiny of accounting practices in SPAC mergers, temporarily putting a freeze on the hot market.
But in the following months, SPACs have once again gained steam, delivering dozens of companies to the public markets.