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Ex-Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche tapped for new auto-focused SPAC

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Kensington Capital, whose blank-check companies have already taken public QuantumScape and Wallbox has tapped former Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche as vice chairman for a fourth automotive-focused special purpose acquisition company.

Its latest SPAC, Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp IV, filed Thursday to raise $200 million in an initial public offering. The company said it will focus on acquiring a business “operating in the global automotive and automotive-related sector.”

SPACs offer early-stage companies an easier route for going public than a traditional IPOs. As is typical with other SPACs, Kensington Capital IV will have two years to find a merger target and complete a deal, or face the prospect of refunding its investors.

Zetsche, who left Daimler in 2019, brings more than 45 years of automotive experience to the SPAC, including his role in the 2007 split of Daimler and Chrysler, according to the filing.

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Zetsche also serves on the board of Luminar Technologies, a company that was backed by tech billionaire Peter Thiel and went public in a SPAC deal in 2020.

Kensington’s first SPAC reached a deal in 2020 to acquire solid-state battery startup QuantumScape. The combined company’s shares listed in November that year and have fallen about 26 percent from its price at the time.

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Kensington’s second SPAC took Barcelona-based electric vehicle charging company Wallbox public last in October. Wallbox shares have jumped 49 percent since then.

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