The Jeff Bezos-backed electric carmaker Rivian is aiming for a market value of $65bn (£48bn) when shares start trading in New York, in one of the biggest-ever stock market floats.
Rivian announced late on Tuesday that its shares would start trading at $78 each, significantly above the $52 a share lower end of the range it had first targeted. It sold 153m shares, more than the 135m it aimed for initially.
The increased offer price means Rivian will raise $11.9bn, putting it among the top 10 initial public offerings of all time in the US, according to data from Dealogic.
More than 20 investment banks are involved in running the sale, led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
The raised price reflects the huge demand for shares in electric carmakers on the day that a series of carmakers and countries pledged to move away from fossil fuels by 2040 or earlier at the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.
The surge in interest has propelled Tesla, the electric car pioneer, into the ranks of the world’s trillion-dollar public companies. A $65bn valuation would put Rivian roughly equal with BMW.
Bezos rode in one of Rivian’s prototype electric SUVs to the launchpad of his spacecraft in July, in effect providing advertising to the carmaker.
Amazon owns 22% of Rivian’s shares and has committed to buying 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from the startup by 2025. Rivian can sell delivery vans only to Amazon for four years.
Rivian’s debut product, the R1, will be available in pickup or SUV varieties, competing with Tesla’s Model X and electric SUVs from older manufacturers such as Ford and Audi as well as newer entrants including the US’s Fisker and Canoo or China’s NIO.
Rivian will manufacture the R1 and commercial vans at a factory in Normal, Illinois. However, Irvine in California is home to the car’s engineering and design, including crucial work on propulsion and battery technology.
The company could make revenues of between $20bn and $25bn by 2025 if it achieves its aim of 350,000 vehicles produced annually at that plant, according to Chris McNally, an automotive analyst at Evercore ISI investment bank.