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Lawrence Ho-linked SPAC merger with Vietnamese e-vehicle company approved

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Shareholders have approved the merger between Black Spade Acquisition Co, a SPAC created by the private investment arm of Melco Chairman Lawrence Ho, with Vietnam electric automaker VinFast.

Following the deal, a new company named VinFast Auto Ltd., together with its shares and warrants, commenced trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the ticker symbols “VFS” and “VFSWW,” respectively, on August 15, 2023.

The company will have a total equity value of over $23 billion, with existing shareholders of VinFast to hold approximately 99 percent shares of the combined entity.

In an announcement issued after the deal, the Chairman and Co-CEO of Black Spade, Daniel Tam, described VinFast, as an “exceptionally fast-growing and scalable company in the electric vehicle sector”.

“A listing on the Nasdaq will enhance VinFast’s global outreach by facilitating even wider access to capital. Driven by a shared aspiration to shape a better future through innovation, we anticipate our collaboration with VinFast to bring about a fresh chapter of sustainable mobility,” Tam added.

Meanwhile, Madame Thuy Le, VinFast Auto’s Global CEO considered that becoming a US-listed company was a “significant milestone” in VinFast’s global expansion.

“More than just a transaction on the stock market, going public reflects a powerful vote of confidence in our vision and potential, as well as fulfills our pledge to make smart, safe and environmentally friendly electric vehicles accessible to everyone,” Thuy noted.

VinFast is a member of VinGroup, which is the ‘leading Vietnamese automotive manufacture, the group engaged in producing electric SUVs, e-scooters and e-buses in the US and Vietnam and is aiming to break into the European market as well.

Black Spade Acquisition is a blank check company created as vehicle for business combinations (also known as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company – SPAC).

According to Bloomberg, following the listing, the electric carmaker’s shares rose by some 255 percent Tuesday, adding nearly $40 billion to the net worth of the group’s chairman Pham Nhat Vuong.

The surge pushed the company’s market capitalization over giants such as Mercedes-Benz Group and General Motors, while raising the fortune of Vuong’s to $44.3 billion – marking him as Vietnam’s richest man.

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