Velodyne Lidar’s Merger with Graf Industrial Corp.


Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP advised Velodyne Lidar on the deal, while White & Case LLP has advised Graf Industrial Corp.

Graf Industrial Corp. (“GRAF”) entered into a definitive agreement for a US$1.8 billion business combination with Velodyne Lidar, Inc.

Current Velodyne shareholders, including founder David Hall and strategic investors Ford, Baidu, Inc., Nikon Corporation and Hyundai Mobis, will retain an equity interest of more than 80% in the combined company.

GRAF and Velodyne have successfully raised $150MM in equity from a group of institutional investors, subject to completion of the transaction. This transaction is being structured as a reverse merger where existing Velodyne shareholders will own the majority of the go-forward company. The funds raised will be combined with up to $117M that GRAF had already raised from its existing investors. We are targeting to finalize the combination toward the end of Q3 2020, following approval by GRAF’s shareholders. At that time, Velodyne will become a publicly-traded company and we expect to be listed on the NYSE under a new ticker symbol, VLDR.

BofA Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to Velodyne. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acted as financial advisor and PIPE private placement agent to GRAF. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. and EarlyBirdCapital, Inc. acted as capital markets advisors to GRAF.

Velodyne is a developer of Lidar Technology for corporate and consumer markets. Velodyne Lidar provides sensor products for autonomous car.

Graf Industrial Corp is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) founded by James Graf and Michael Dee.

The Gunderson team was led by Trevor Knapp (Picture), Jeff Vetter, John Olson, and included Tom Villeneuve, Aaron Fiske, Michael Richman, Mark Foster, Colin Conklin, Albert Yeh, Mei Li, Geoffrey Wright, Jessica Jeong, Lily Kim, Emily Lieberman, Ibrahim Elshamy, Ben Hinshaw, Jessica Verran-Lingard, Cameron Jahansouz, Justin Peters, David Behrend, Ashley Nakamura, and Samantha Hedrick.

White & Case LLP has advised Graf Industrial Corp. with a team led by partners Joel Rubinstein in New York and Tali Sealman in Silicon Valley, and included partners Elliott Smith in New York and Maia Gez in Silicon Valley (Capital Markets), as well as counsel Jessie Baxter, associates Kathrin Schwesinger and Suni Sreepada in New York; Eric Clamage in Chicago and associate Sarah Phillips in Silicon Valley (M&A). The team was also supported by partner Noah Brumfield in Washington DC (Antitrust); partner Jonathan Rochwarger, associates Sarah Ross, Jared Coppotelli, Jordan Leon (Capital Markets), partners Henrik Patel and Victoria Rosamond, associates Harry Hudesman, Scott Schilson (ECB), partner Arlene Arin Hahn, associate Ketan Pastakia, Jerry Lee (IP/IT), partner David Dreier, associate Adriana Zhan (Tax), partner Steven Lutt (Real Estate) all in New York; counsel F. Paul Pittman, associate Mark Williams (Cybersecurity), partners Cristina Brayton-Lewis, Farhad Jalinous, counsel Keith Schomig (Trade), associate Ashley Williams all in Washington DC; partner Maria Beguiristain, (White Collar) in Miami, partner Ingrid Wijnmalen in Frankfurt, partner William Fong and associate Vincent Lee (M&A) in Hong Kong.

Involved fees earner: David Behrend – Gunderson Dettmer; Colin Conklin – Gunderson Dettmer; Ibrahim Elshamy – Gunderson Dettmer; Aaron Fiske – Gunderson Dettmer; Mark Foster – Gunderson Dettmer; Samantha Hedrick – Gunderson Dettmer; Benjamin Hinshaw – Gunderson Dettmer; Cameron Jahansouz – Gunderson Dettmer; Jessica Jeong – Gunderson Dettmer; Lily Kim – Gunderson Dettmer; Trevor Knapp – Gunderson Dettmer; Mei Li – Gunderson Dettmer; Emily Lieberman – Gunderson Dettmer; Ashley Nakamura – Gunderson Dettmer; John Olson – Gunderson Dettmer; Justin Peters – Gunderson Dettmer; Michael Richman – Gunderson Dettmer; Jessica Verran-Lingard – Gunderson Dettmer; Jeffrey Vetter – Gunderson Dettmer; Thomas Villeneuve – Gunderson Dettmer; Geoffrey Wright – Gunderson Dettmer; Albert Yeh – Gunderson Dettmer; Jessie Baxter – White & Case; Maria Beguiristain – White & Case; Cristina Brayton-Lewis – White & Case; Noah Brumfield – White & Case; Eric Clamage – White & Case; David Dreier – White & Case; William Fong – White & Case; Maia Gez – White & Case; Arlene Arin Hahn – White & Case; Harry Hudesman – White & Case; Farhad Jalinous – White & Case; Vincent Lee – White & Case; Jerry Lee – White & Case; Steven Lutt – White & Case; Ketan Pastakia – White & Case; Henrik Patel – White & Case; Paul Pittman – White & Case; Jonathan Rochwarger – White & Case; Victoria Rosamond – White & Case; Joel Rubinstein – White & Case; Scott Schilson – White & Case; Keith Schomig – White & Case; Kathrin Schwesinger – White & Case; Tali Sealman – White & Case; Elliott Smith – White & Case; Suni Sreepada – White & Case; Ingrid Wijnmalen – White & Case; Ashley Williams – White & Case; Mark Williams – White & Case; Adriana Zhan – White & Case;

Law Firms: Gunderson Dettmer; White & Case;

Clients: Graf Industrial; Velodyne Lidar Inc.;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti