The glow dulled further Monday for electric truck maker Rivian Automotive, whose IPO in November was the largest of 2021 and the sixth-largest in U.S. history.
Less than two weeks ago, Rivian was responsible for quarterly losses reported by both Amazon and Ford Motor Co., each of which had invested billions only to see Rivian’s value crash early this year.
On Monday, Rivian’s stock price tumbled further on a report that Ford was getting rid of 8 million shares in the company.
Rivian also is newly caught up in the Georgia governor’s race over a record incentive package for a new manufacturing plant.
Why is Rivian a big deal?
The electric truck manufacturer has an order from Amazon for 100,000 delivery vans, and more than 80,000 other orders.
As it burst onto the scene at an event tied to the L.A. Auto Show in 2018, Rivian was seen as a potential rival to Tesla.
Ford has been interested in battery development with Rivian, and at one point planned to jointly develop a pickup.
In March, Rivian acknowledged significant production challenges because of supply chain problems that have plagued automakers. It said it would be able to make only 25,000 vehicles this year.
Raising big money and then falling
Rivian’s initial public offering last year raised $11.9 billion. The share price hit a peak of $172.01 on Nov. 16. At the end of the year, that was down to $103.69.
The stock has tumbled further since then, closing the first quarter at $50.24, costing Amazon $7.6 billion in the quarter and Ford $5.5 billion.
Rivian closed Monday at $22.78, down nearly 21% for the day.
Millions of shares being sold, report says
The “lockup” period for early investors and company insiders expired Sunday, and CNBC reported that Ford was set to sell 8 million of its 102 million shares. Ford declined to comment Monday.
Ford would sell its shares through Goldman Sachs, the report said, while JPMorgan Chase also planned to sell between 13 million and 15 million shares for an unknown investor.
Amazon owns about 17.7% of Rivian, while Ford owns 11.4%.
Amazon was not expected to sell, Bloomberg reported.
Rivian incentives play into Georgia politics
After the state of Georgia and local governments this month approved $1.5 billion in incentives for Rivian to build a 7,500-job, $5 billion electric vehicle plant east of Atlanta, former Sen. David Purdue criticized the deal, the Associated Press reported.
Purdue is running against Gov. Brian Kemp in the May 24 GOP primary, with the winner likely facing Democrat Stacey Abrams for the governor’s office in the general election.
Perdue has emphasized that “liberal billionaire George Soros” is an investor in Rivian.
“Think about how many small businesses in Georgia could be helped for this kind of money, instead of padding George Soros’ pockets,” Perdue said. “Kemp gave away the farm to a woke corporation for something the locals don’t even want, and hardworking Georgians are left footing the bill.”
Kemp, during a debate Sunday, reiterated his backing for Rivian. “I support 7,500 great-paying jobs going to rural Georgia, to an automobile manufacturing facility,” Kemp said.
Randy Essex is an editor on the USA TODAY Money team: email@example.com; @randyessex on Twitter. Subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning.