General Motors and Nikola Corp are yet to finalize their deal to jointly build electric pickup trucks and hydrogen fuel cell tractor-trailers, one day ahead of the date targeted, and are continuing discussions, GM said.
“Our transaction with Nikola has not closed,” GM spokeswoman Juli Huston-Rough said. “We are continuing our discussions with Nikola and will provide further updates when appropriate or required.”
A statement by Nikola echoed GM’s. Huston-Rough and a Nikola spokeswoman refused to comment further when asked if terms of the deal were being renegotiated.
When the deal was announced, Nikola said it expected it to close before September 30, adding either side could terminate the agreement if it wasn’t finalized by December 3.
The alliance, announced September 8, included strategies for GM to get an 11% stake in Nikola then worth about $2 billion and payments up to $700 million for working on the startup’s Badger pickup.
With Nikola shares now trading less than $18 a share, GM’s potential stake is worth less than half the initial value.
In return, GM agreed to provide Nikola with electric batteries, chassis architecture, and a factory to build the Badger pickup, together with GM’s fuel cell system for Nikola’s planned heavy trucks.
As part of the deal, GM also would keep 80% of EV regulatory credits generated by the Badger and have the right to purchase the rest at market rates, which would help GM offset sales of its gasoline-powered automobiles.
Short-seller Hindenburg Research has warned GM to “carefully evaluate” the potential damage to its brand, following the resignation of its former executive chairman Trevor Milton on 21 September. GM has said it would stand by the deal, which it said made strategic sense by providing the Detroit automaker scale to slash costs.