Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is purchasing 1,000 trucks with high-autonomy software from startup Plus in a deal giving the e-commerce giant a 20% stake in the company.
Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V (NASDAQ: HCIC), the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsoring Plus for public trading, disclosed Amazon Logistics as the purchaser in a Securities and Exchange Commission 8-K filing on Monday.
The deal was described in the Plus investor deck but did not name the customer. FreightWaves reported in the Truck Talk newsletter May 21 that Amazon was the likely customer based on a similar arrangement it struck recently with Clean Energy Fuels to purchase renewable natural gas.
Warrant issued Saturday
On Saturday, HCIC issued a warrant to Amazon to purchase up to 420,702,410 Series C-1 preferred shares of Plus, representing approximately 20% of the fully diluted ownership, according to the SEC filing. The preferred shares would convert to common shares when the business combination between Plus and Hennessy concludes.
The Amazon stake in Plus is significant because much of the investment in Plus to date has come from Chinese investors.
Rival TuSimple Holdings (NASDAQ: TSP), which went public via a traditional initial public offering in April, unwound some Chinese ownership to satisfy the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFUS), which reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies or operations.
Now it can be told
Amazon evaluated multiple autonomous driving software developers in 2019 and chose Plus as its provider of autonomy-enabled trucks. A master purchase agreement (MPA) signed Jan. 27 this year promised that Plus would provide at least some of 1,000 PlusDrive units between February of this year and 2023.
According to the investor deck, the MPA includes a term sheet requiring Amazon to purchase 10,000 PlusDrive units for the 20% warrant to take effect. Amazon has eight years to exercise the warrant, according to the SEC filing.