Smith Electric Vehicles Completes $58 Million Private Placement [though Wynston Hill Capital]

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp., a U.S. manufacturer of plug-in battery powered electric trucks, sold $58 million of shares privately to unidentified investors.

The financing includes $39 million in cash received from the sale of Series B convertible preferred stock, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company said today in a statement. Additionally, bridge notes and related warrants were converted into $19 million of Series B preferred shares.

Of the proceeds, $5 million will be used to prepay monthly installments in connection with the company’s purchase of the U.K.-based zero emission vehicles unit of Tanfield Group Plc (TAN), known as Smith Electric Vehicles. Tanfield, the world’s largest maker of aerial work platforms, holds a 49 percent stake in the U.S-based company.

The $15 million deal, announced Dec. 23, became effective Jan. 1 and payments will be made in installments for 20 months. The prepayment eliminates the need to pay additional installments for about seven months, Smith Electric said.

Remaining net proceeds will be used for working capital as the company expands manufacturing.

Newtons

Sales of the company’s Newton model trucks are expected to reach 1,000 this year, five times more than last year, the company said in January. Smith Electric’s Kansas City plant assembles about 40 trucks per month, chief executive officer Bryan Hansel said in December when the acquisition was announced. Hansel was not available for comment today.

The Newton trucks use cabs and chassis made by Letňany, Czech Republic-based Avia Ashok Leyland Motors S.R.O. The batteries are provided by Valence Technology Inc. (VLNC), and Enova Systems Inc. (ENA) supplies the electric drive systems. The vehicles sell for between about $80,000 and $90,000 after deducting a federal tax credit of as much as $7,500 and additional rebates from state governments of as much as $5,000, according to Hansel.

Coca-Cola Co., Frito-Lay Foods Ltd., AT&T Inc., Staples Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and Kansas City Power & Light Co., have purchased Smith vehicles, Tanfield says on its website.

The vehicles have a top speed of 55 miles per hour, a range of more than 100 miles, and a payload of more than 16,000 pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net