Tech

Lordstown Motors Recruits Adam Kroll as Financial Chief

Lordstown Motors Corp.

has hired a new finance chief, a move that comes as the electric-truck startup works to evaluate new financing options and bring its first pickup to market.

The Lordstown, Ohio-based company on Wednesday named 46-year-old

Adam Kroll

as its chief financial officer, effective Oct. 25. Mr. Kroll, a former investment banker, most recently served as chief administrative officer of Hyzon Motors Inc., a supplier of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles, from March through July.

He previously worked as interim CFO at UPG Enterprises LLC, a family office, from October 2020 to January. Before that, he spent five years at event-technology provider PSAV Holdings, where he served as treasurer, head of corporate development and senior vice president of finance. Mr. Kroll from 2007 to 2015 worked as an executive director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and advised companies in the automotive sector on capital markets and loan transactions as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Adam Kroll, the new CFO of Lordstown Motors.



Photo:

Lordstown Motors Corp

Mr. Kroll is set to replace Lordstown’s interim CFO,

Rebecca Roof,

who has been in the position since June. Former finance chief

Julio Rodriguez

and

Steve Burns,

the former chief executive, stepped down that month after a board committee found that parts of Lordstown’s disclosures about preorders for its trucks were inaccurate.

Lordstown CEO

Dan Ninivaggi,

who took over in August, praised Mr. Kroll’s range of experience.

“He checks…three boxes,” Mr. Ninivaggi said. “He is operational, he is strategic and he has experience in capital markets.”

Lordstown last month said it has engaged investment-banking firm Jefferies LLC to advise the company on its financing options. Mr. Ninivaggi said he expects Lordstown to pursue such options but didn’t provide more details. “Adam would be taking a leading role in evaluating and pursuing our financing alternatives,” Mr. Ninivaggi said.

The company’s new finance chief will focus on refining its business model, looking at strategic opportunities and communicating with investors, Mr. Ninivaggi said.

The company will provide an update on its first truck, the Endurance, during its next quarterly earnings release in November, Mr. Ninivaggi said. Lordstown previously said it would begin limited production in late September.

The company, which went public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company and isn’t generating revenue yet, earlier this year revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing its business. The company has said it is cooperating with the inquiry, alongside a probe by the Justice Department, which was disclosed in July.

Mr. Ninivaggi said he got to know Mr. Kroll during his time at auto-parts manufacturer

Lear Corp.

, where he served as executive vice president from 2003 until 2009. Mr. Kroll worked at JPMorgan during that time. “I was impressed then,” Mr. Ninivaggi said.

Lordstown amended its annual report in early June to include a going-concern notice. Such notices indicate a company’s potential doubts about whether it can sustain its business in the coming year. Lordstown said at the time that it believed its cash and cash equivalents weren’t sufficient to fund commercial-scale production. The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $365.9 million as of June 30.

The company in August said it forecasts liquidity of between $225 million and $275 million in cash and cash equivalents by the end of the third quarter and disclosed an equity purchase agreement giving it access to up to $400 million in capital. Under the agreement, a fund run by investment firm Yorkville Advisors Global LP committed to buying Lordstown Class A common stock over a three-year period, the company said.

Lordstown on Sept. 30 said it plans to sell its auto factory in Ohio to contract assembler

Foxconn Technology Group

for a purchase price of $230 million. Foxconn also plans to invest $50 million by purchasing common stock, Lordstown said. The company would use Foxconn to build its vehicles at the factory—which Lordstown originally bought from

General Motors Co.

—including its debut pickup truck.

A definitive purchase agreement could be reached by the end of the month or early November, Mr. Ninivaggi said, and the deal with Foxconn could close by April. “We are working on it every day,” he said, referring to the asset sale.

Analysts said Mr. Kroll should improve the company’s interactions with investors. “The key priority for Mr. Kroll is to restore credibility and provide transparency to investors and the analyst community,” said

Jaime Perez,

a senior analyst at brokerage firm R.F. Lafferty & Co. Mr. Kroll’s experience as an investment banker will be key for the company to raise capital and create a solid balance sheet, Mr. Perez said.

In his new role, Mr. Kroll will have an annual salary of $450,000 and is eligible for an annual bonus equal to 80% of his salary, which will be prorated for fiscal 2021, as well as stock options and restricted stock units vesting over time, Lordstown said in a filing with securities regulators.

Lordstown’s share price has fallen about 74% since the beginning of the year. It closed at $5.23 on Wednesday, up 11 cents from Tuesday’s close.

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Write to Nina Trentmann at [email protected]

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