Navitas Semiconductor, which last year relocated its global headquarters to Dublin, is to go public in a multimillion dollar deal through a merger with Live Oak Acquisition Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company (Spac).
The deal will see Navitas raising about $400 million (€331 million) in capital, which includes $145 million in stock bought by private investors at $10 per share. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter. The combined entity will be worth $1.4 billion.
Navitas is a Silicon Valley-founded firm, whose backers include Atlantic Bridge, which was founded and is still led by Brian Long. The Dubliner, who previously co-founded Parthus, a semiconductor company that went public on the Nasdeq in 2000, is a board member of Navitas, while Atlantic Bridge is one of its main backers.
Other investors in the company include Capricorn Investment Group and Malibu IQ. All current investors were rolling their equity into the new combined entity, Navitas said.
Navitas said it intended to use the capital raised to accelerate product development and expansion into markets valued at $13 billion.
Founded in 2003 in El Segundo, California, Navitas is focused on Gallium nitride (GaN), a next-generation semiconductor technology that runs up to 20 times faster than legacy silicon, and enables up to three times more power and faster charging in half the size and weight.
Navitas is in mass production and ramping shipments to suppliers that include Dell, Lenovo, LG, Xiaomi, OPPO, Amazon and Belkin. More than 18 million of its GaNFast semiconductors have been shipped to date, with markets that use it including mobile, consumer, enterprise, renewables and electric vehicles.
"Navitas was formed with the vision to revolutionise the world of power electronics while addressing significant sustainability challenges for our planet. Not only has Navitas' world-class team invented and patented revolutionary new technology, but we have also overcome all the key hurdles associated with successfully bringing it to market," said chief executive Gene Sheridan.
“We are proud to enter the public capital markets with strong operating momentum and investor partners who share our enthusiasm for our long-term mission,” he added.
While Spacs have been around for decades in some form or another, they are currently all the rage on Wall Street. Some 298 Spacs raised $95.3 billion in the US in the first quarter, equivalent to three-quarters of all Initial Public Offerings there.
Spacs, which are also known as “blank cheque companies”, have no commercial operations and are established purely to raise capital through public listings for the purpose of acquiring existing companies.