Ford sold 91 million shares of EV startup Rivian last year

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RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford announce a $500 million Ford investment in Rivian.
Source: Ford Motor Co.

DETROIT – Ford Motor liquidated most of its ownership stake last year in electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive, according to the Detroit automaker’s annual report submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Ford sold 91 million shares of the EV startup in 2022, according to the filing. Ford’s sale of the shares was worth about $3 billion in total proceeds, the company said, a substantial gain on its $1.2 billion investment in Rivian.

Ford, as of the end of last year, still owned about 11 million of its initial 101.9 million shares of Rivian. The company declined to comment on plans for the remaining shares, which still made the automaker one of the company’s largest shareholders, according to FactSet. Rivian also declined to comment.

Ford first invested in Rivian in 2019, before the EV maker went public. At the time, the two companies said that Ford would build an electric vehicle based on the “skateboard” platform that now underpins Rivian’s R1T pickup and R1S SUV. Despite former Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s enthusiasm for the deal, those plans never came to fruition.

But as a result of that initial investment, Ford was among the largest stakeholders in the company upon Rivian’s blockbuster IPO in 2021, with a 12% stake.

Ford vs. Rivian shares

Ford said that it sold 25.2 million shares of Rivian in the second quarter, for about $700 million in total proceeds. It sold an additional 51.9 million shares during the third quarter for about $1.8 billion, according to earlier filings.

Hackett’s successor, Jim Farley, had made it clear that Ford would likely sell its stake, but it was unclear when the automaker planned to sell the shares and exit Rivian.

Ford unrealized gains/losses were $8.3 billion gain in 2021 and a $968 million loss in 2022, which damaged the automaker’s bottom-line last year.

Shortly after Rivian’s blockbuster IPO in November 2021, shares of the company reached an all-time high of nearly $180 a share during Wall Street’s infatuation with EV startups that led to inflated valuations of early- or pre-revenue companies.

Rivian’s stock is now trading around $20 a share, following several missed targets and a slower-than-expected increase in vehicle production at a plant in Normal, Illinois. The company is valued at about $18 billion.

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