ECONOMY

Sarcos Robotics Plans SPAC Deal for $1.3 Billion Value

Sarcos Robotics is planning to go public through a reverse merger with blank-check company Rotor Acquisition Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Salt Lake City-based robot maker and the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, will have a combined valuation of $1.3 billion including debt, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The deal includes a potential earnout of an additional $280 million based on the performance of the stock after the merger, the people said.

To help fund the transaction, the companies have raised $220 million in a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, from investors including BlackRock Inc., Millennium Management, Palantir Technologies Inc., Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc. and Schlumberger, as well as from their own executives, the people said.

Representatives for Sarcos and Rotor declined to comment.

Sarcos develops robotic systems for non-repetitive tasks that are designed to increase productivity among industrial and military workers. Its wearable devices help people move heavy objects with mechanical limbs and support, reducing workplace injuries and allowing employees less capable of strenuous labor to carry out tasks such as lifting airport baggage without assistance.

Led by Chief Executive Officer Ben Wolff, Sarcos will receive about $500 million in proceeds from the SPAC transaction, the people said. Wolff was a co-founder of Clearwire Corp., which was acquired by Sprint Corp. in 2013.

Rotor raised $276 million in its initial public offering in January. Its CEO is former Credit Suisse First Boston President Brian Finn, while its chairman is Stefan Selig, a former Bank of America Corp. executive and a U.S. Commerce Department official during the Obama administration.

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