Faraday Future Strikes a Deal with China's Top Auto Group as It Readies for a Wall Street Debut

Sarah Favot

Favot is an award-winning journalist and adjunct instructor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She previously was an investigative and data reporter at national education news site The 74 and local news site LA School Report. She's also worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She was a Livingston Award finalist in 2011 and holds a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University and BA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Faraday Future Strikes a Deal with China's Top Auto Group as It Readies for a Wall Street Debut

A day after luxury electric carmaker Faraday Future said it will go public, it announced a new partnership with China's largest privately-owned automotive group that could help it produce cars in China.

Gardena-based Faraday Future said Thursday it will merge with a special purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, Property Solutions Acquisition Corp., a deal which will value the combined company at around $3.4 billion and will raise about $1 billion, the company said in its announcement.


On Friday, the automaker made public that it had signed a cooperation agreement with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, one of its minority investors. The companies will explore the possibility of using production services provided by a joint venture between Geely and Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer. Geely will also provide technology and engineering support to Faraday.

Bill Russo, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based Automobility, said Geely, which owns Volvo, has recently made several investments to build a portfolio around a new mobility-related platform.

"This is a full range transportation equipment ecosystem that Geely is building and Faraday completes part of the puzzle," Russo said.

Neither company provided more specifics about the partnership, but Reuters reported that Faraday plans to set up a new base in China. In a statement, Geely said new details will be "announced at a later date."

Faraday Future becomes the latest company in a wave of electric vehicle makers to go public through a merger with a SPAC, including Canoo, Fisker, Lordstown Motors and Nikola.

The merger is expected to fully fund the production of Faraday's luxury electric vehicle, the FF 91, within a year of the close of the transaction and will help the company finish construction of its factory in Hanford, California. No vehicles have been produced so far.

"This is an important milestone in our company's transformation,," Faraday Future Global CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in announcing the SPAC. "I am excited that this business combination will allow us to launch the class defining FF 91, building upon the founder's original vision to help our users and shareholders take part in shaping the future of mobility."

About $230 million of the proceeds from the merger is expected to come from the money raised by Property Solutions in its SPAC. The remaining $775 million will come from a private placement in public equity, or PIPE, investment.

After the merger is complete, it will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "FFIE."

Analysts say the demand for electric vehicles will continue to grow as regulators crack down on emissions. The Biden administration has pledged to help develop an electric vehicle charging infrastructure as part of a jobs proposal for the automotive industry. Biden also said this week he wants to replace the government's fleet of 650,000 vehicles with electric models. And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission by 2035.

General Motors said Thursday it will stop production of gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035 and shift its entire new fleet to zero-emission vehicles.

Faraday has faced some financial challenges since it launched in 2014 with a stated ambition to overtake Tesla.

Chinese technology mogul Jia Yueting, who founded the company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019, which was completed in July.

Yueting stepped down from his role as CEO is now serving as the chief product and ecosystem officer at the company.

Breitfeld is a former BMW executive who took the helm in 2019.

Faraday expects to sell more than 400,000 vehicles over the next five years, saying its FF 91 has received 14,000 reservations.

Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
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In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

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Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

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Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

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Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

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A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

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A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
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Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


🤝 Venture Deals

LA Companies

  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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