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Lucid Settles With Dentons Firm, Ends Dispute Over SPAC Shares

Jan. 27, 2022, 5:18 PM

Lucid Group Inc., the Saudi-backed electric vehicle maker that went public in 2021 by merging with a blank-check company, has resolved its dispute with Dentons US LLP, a white-shoe law firm that claimed it was wrongly cut out of the deal, according to court filings in Delaware.

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III dismissed the case late Wednesday from Delaware’s Chancery Court, about a week after the parties reached a deal to transfer nearly 1.75 million Lucid shares to Dentons from Seychelles-based Pisces Co., where they had been frozen by an earlier court order.

The rest of the Lucid shares held by Pisces “should remain registered in Pisces’ name,” Slights said in his Jan. 18 order giving force to the agreement.

The lawsuit, filed by Dentons in July, accused Lucid of refusing to intervene in efforts by Pisces to sell or transfer shares encumbered by the law firm’s unspecified “financial and security interests.”

It also targeted Pisces, which was allegedly formed by an unidentified party to hold the shares after Dentons gained certain rights in them through its work on an earlier court case. Those details were blacked out of the redacted complaint.

But securities filings submitted as exhibits appear to show Pisces is affiliated with Shanghai Qichengyueming Investment Partnership Enterprise, a Chinese company Dentons represented in litigation against Jia Yueting, the founder and ex-CEO of Faraday Future, another electric vehicle maker.

Lucid went public in July, when the startup automaker—previously a privately held business known as Atieva Inc.—merged with Churchill Capital Corp. IV, a “special purpose acquisition company” backed by former Citigroup Inc. investment banking chief Michael Klein, a leading SPAC sponsor.

SPACs, or blank-check companies, are publicly traded entities raising money on the promise of a reverse merger with a private business that can then access public markets without the scrutiny of an initial public offering. SPAC deals exploded in popularity in 2020, leaving regulators to play catch-up.

Publicly traded Lucid is nearly 80% owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, according to Bloomberg data. The fund reportedly made $20 billion in the de-SPAC on an initial $2.5 billion investment.

Dentons is represented by Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Lucid is represented by Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP. Pisces is represented by Bayard PA.

The case is Dentons US LLP v. Lucid Grp. Inc., Del. Ch., No. 2021-0665, 1/26/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Leonard in Washington at mleonard@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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