supplier and fuel-cell partner Robert Bosch sold some of its holdings of the stock. Bosch still owns a significant stake in the electric and fuel-cell heavy-duty trucking pioneer, but stock sales by a partner could unnerve investors still reeling from recent news about Nikola’s relationship with
The sale, disclosed Wednesday, amounted to about 4 million shares of Nikola (ticker: NKLA). The sale happened on Tuesday, the day a lockup on share holdings expired. Bosch still owns almost 19 million shares, or about 4.9% of the Nikola stock outstanding.
Bosch wasn’t immediately available to comment on the sale or its plans for the rest of the company’s holdings. Bosch is privately held and is one of the largest auto and truck parts suppliers in the world.
The company, an early investor in Nikola, supplies it with truck components such as electrohydraulic steering systems. Bosch also developed fuel-cell components in collaboration with Nikola. The fuel cells developed have “been specially engineered and designed to be used in a heavy-duty truck [and] heavy-duty vehicle,” said CEO Mark Russell on Nikola’s recent earnings conference call.
News about potential stock sales and Nikola’s ties to its suppliers has dominated this week. Shares fell almost 27% Monday after General Motors (GM) and Nikola amended a partnership originally agreed to in September. Instead of taking a stake in Nikola and supplying parts and offering manufacturing support, GM will only supply fuel-cell components. Nikola’s light-duty truck program, called Badger, was nixed.
Nikola shares fell an additional 14.9% on Tuesday, the day a stock sale prohibition ended. Insiders and investors often can’t sell shares after an initial public offering or merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, for about 150 days. Nikola’s merger was completed in early June; about 160 million shares became available to trade on Dec. 1.
At 4.9%, Bosch will no longer have to file reports on its holdings. Entities that hold more than 5% of a company’s stock are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to report on their holdings.
Nikola shares bounced back from their rough start to the week on Wednesday, rising 5.5%. Shares were up another 2.2% in premarket trading Thursday.
Futures on the S&P 500
Dow Jones Industrial Average
were essentially flat.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]