Clevon to delist without buying back minority shares

Clevon CEO Arno Kütt.
Clevon CEO Arno Kütt. Source: Clevon

Autonomous vehicle developer Clevon is planning on initiating a delisting of its shares on the First North alternative market without taking over the shares of the company's minority shareholders, claiming this is the only way they can avoid ceasing operation altogether.

Clevon, which first listed on First North, the Nasdaq Tallinn-operated multilateral trading facility (MTF), last June, announced earlier this year that it was planning on delisting and buying out its minority shareholders, citing the company's increased financial needs.

In a market notice published Monday, however, the company's management board revealed that they have not succeeded in finding an investor willing to finance the mandatory takeover of the company's shares, noting investors' decreased risk appetite as well as the recent insolvencies of several of its competitors.

"In addition, the company's need for additional capital is so large and constant that it is not possible to finance the corresponding capital need only from the funds raised from First North, and it is necessary to find capital from non-public sources," the notice read.

Some ten different venture capital investors from Japan, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. as well as elsewhere have communicated that in order to raise capital from them for further development, Clevon would first have to leave First North, the company said, noting that restrictions on venture capital investors prevent investing in a public company, and in the current economic environment, strategic investors are generally reluctant to invest without them.

Several rounds of approvals required

Clevon announced Monday that it will publish a draft resolution to its shareholders Tuesday to stop trading with the company's shares on First North, which will require the approval of two thirds of all shareholders. If adopted, the company must then request the MTF delist the company's shares from trading, as well as have its request for termination of trading approved by the listing body of Nasdaq Tallinn.

The company's shares will remain tradable until the last day of trading determined by Nasdaq Tallinn, following which they will be available to trade outside the market, i.e. "over the counter."

Since the announcement Monday morning, Clevon shares dropped sharply, from €0.93 per share at opening to just €0.42 by midday. During its IPO last June, the Estonian company's shares went for €1.87.

Last year, Clevon earned a consolidated audited sales revenue of €98,420 and a net loss of more than €3.3 million, according to its 2022 audited annual report. The company's majority shareholder is Arno Kütt.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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