VinFast will go public via a SPAC deal with New York Stock Exchange-listed Black Spade Acquisition Co., the Vietnamese electric vehicle startup announced last week. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023.

Also referred to as a reverse merger, a SPAC deal is where a private company goes public by being taken over by a company that's already listed, typically one set up solely for the purpose, known in investor circles as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The advantage is that it avoids the complexity of launching an IPO, a route VinFast originally planned to pursue.

Most EV startups in recent years have chosen the easier route of SPAC deals when going public. One of the exceptions was Rivian, which launched an IPO in 2021.

Following the close of the transaction, which VinFast expects for the second half of the year, the combined company will have an equity value of more than $23 billion. VinFast shareholders will own approximately 99% of the combined company, which will operate as VinFast and trade on the NYSE.

2023 Vinfast VF 8

2023 Vinfast VF 8

VinFast started U.S. deliveries in March, with the VF 8 mid-size SUV the first of two models to arrive. The other is the VF 9 full-size SUV, due later this year.

Funds raised from the SPAC deal will help VinFast in its ambitious plans, including adding VF 5, VF 6, and VF 7 crossovers and expanding into Europe. The company also plans to construct a U.S. plant in Chatham County, North Carolina.

“The partnership with Black Spade and listing of VinFast in the U.S. represents the perfect capital raising avenue for our future global ambitions,” Thuy Le, VinFast's CEO, said in a statement.

The announcement comes at an inopportune time for VinFast as its VF 8 SUV was widely panned in initial reviews last week, including by Motor Authority sister site, Green Car Reports.