Smith Cancels Battery-Powered Truck Offer on Valuation

Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., the maker of battery-powered commercial trucks, scrapped an $80 million initial public offering after failing to get a high enough valuation.

The company and existing owners had offered 4.45 million shares for $16 to $18 apiece. Smith announced it was pulling the Nasdaq Stock Market IPO today and said it will “pursue private financing opportunities.”

Smith says its vehicles have lower operating costs than diesel-powered trucks and will appeal to customers seeking a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, including Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., FedEx Corp. and the U.S. military. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company was seeking to follow the June 2010 debut of Tesla Motors Inc., the maker of electric sports cars that’s since almost doubled in value.

“We received significant interest from potential investors, however, we were unable to complete a transaction at a valuation or size that would be in the best interests of our company and its existing shareholders,” Bryan Hansel, Smith’s chief executive officer, said in a Business Wire statement.

Smith is focused on the U.S., Europe and China, where there are about 6 million medium-duty trucks on the road, Hansel said during the company’s IPO roadshow. Smith sells medium-sized trucks to fleet operators with “predictable daily service routes” that won’t exceed their range, according to a filing.

UBS AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc were managing the offering.

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