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SEC wants Lordstown Motors merger docs

LORDSTOWN — A federal regulatory agency probing Lordstown Motors Corp. has asked the upstart electric truck company for documents relating to its October merger with New York-based DiamondPeak Holdings Corp.

The detail was part of Lordstown Motors’ annual report for 2020, filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The commission requested the information on Feb. 17 along with other documents and information related to “Legacy Lordstown and pre-orders of vehicles,” the report states. Lordstown Motors “is responding to the SEC’s requests and intends to cooperate with its inquiry.”

DiamondPeak, a special purpose acquisition company, acquired Lordstown Motors last year with the purpose of taking the startup public. Stocks of the company began trading Oct. 26 on the Nasdaq exchange.

The deal was to inject $675 million into the company for production of its electric truck, the Endurance.

Lordstown Motors founder and CEO, Steve Burns, touched upon the SEC inquiry March 17 during the company’s first-ever earnings conference call.

Burns said Lordstown Motors’ board of directors formed a special committee to review the matter, but declined to comment further until the committee finished its review.

The earnings call came five days after a damning short-sellers report from New York City-based Hindenburg Research alleging Lordstown Motors misled its investors regarding preorders and production schedule for its battery-powered truck. The report also characterized the company as a mirage.

Since the report’s release March 12, two investors have filed class action claims in federal court alleging the company gave misleading and false information about preorders for its Endurance pickup and September launch date.

Three days later, Burns, who addressed the media inside Lordstown Motors’ plant, the former General Motors assembly plant, said beta prototypes of the Endurance would start rolling off the line in 10 days, putting the roll-off Thursday. He also said 12 days, making the roll-off Saturday.

In the plant March 15, five beta prototypes were in production, according to the company. Two of the cabs were on display.

A company spokesman Thursday said before Lordstown Motors shows anything to the world, it will “celebrate this milestone” with employees at the factory this week.

The company will have photos and videos to share with the media then, he said.

After the initial betas, the company plans to produce one beta truck per day for the next two months as it gears up for preproduction in September. The betas will be used for crash, engineering and validation testing.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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