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Ex-CEO of Lordstown Motors sheds more shares, gains millions

LORDSTOWN — The founder and ex-CEO of Lordstown Motors has once again sold millions of the shares of stock he owns in the electric-vehicle startup, and once again has earned himself millions of dollars in the process.

This time, Steve Burns sold more than 4.7 million shares of common stock over a two-day period Tuesday and Wednesday for more than $9.2 million, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The shares were sold in multiple transactions at prices ranging from $1.75 to $2.18 per share, the regulatory filing states. He sold 4.2 million shares Tuesday at a weighted average of $1.97 per share and 555,000 more shares Wednesday at a weighted average of $1.70 per share.

Yet another regulatory filing Thursday shows Burns still owns more than 30.6 million common shares of the company, or about 14 percent.

When Lordstown Motors merged with New York-based DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., a special purpose acquisition, or “blank-check” company in August 2020 to become a publicly traded company, Burns’ legacy Lordstown Motors stock was converted into 46.3 million shares of common stock for the new company.

He’s already sold millions of shares.

The SEC filing shows Burns sold more than 3.2 million shares on Nov. 12, 2021, at an average price of $5.88 per share, a transaction valued at more than $18.8 million.

On Feb. 28, 2022, Burns sold more than 5.2 million more shares at an average price of $2.56 per share, which is valued at more than $13.5 million. A few days later on March 2, 2022, Burns sold 2.5 million shares at $2.44 per share, a transaction valued at $6.1 million.

He founded the company in 2019 to mass produce electric work trucks and worked out an agreement with General Motors to purchase its former Lordstown small car assembly plant to manufacture the vehicles for just $20 million.

Burns abruptly left the company in June 2021 without a stated reason by Lordstown Motors, but his resignation was in sync with an admission by the company that statements regarding preorders for the company’s first vehicle, the Endurance, were inaccurate.

He was given a $750,000 severance package when he left.

Lordstown Motors looks much different today.

Under new leadership, the company sold the plant to global electronics and technology firm Foxconn for $230 million earlier this year and has shifted away from manufacturing toward engineering and developing electric vehicles.

Foxconn, which is producing the Endurance under a contract manufacturing agreement, has attracted other companies to the plant and will produce a battery-powered tractor and prototypes of a a car capable of high-speed online gaming and streaming through a super-powered vehicle-integrated computer.

With its third quarter financial release Tuesday, Lordstown Motors announced the Endurance is being manufactured, albeit slowly due to part quality and availability issues. A dozen so far of the first batch of 500 trucks have been made.

Also announced last week, Foxconn has agreed to make up an equity investment of up to $170 million in Lordstown Motors, a large of chunk of which will be used on a new EV development program.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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