Austin-area electric auto parts manufacturer Hyliion rings the NYSE bell this week after going public
Hyliion, the Cedar Park-based auto parts maker that helps freight trucks become hybrid or electric, merged with Tortoise Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company already traded publicly. The new company maintains the Hyliion name—also reflected in the new stock market ticker symbol, HYLN.
"The completion of our merger greatly accelerates Hyliion's growth plans and unlocks the potential value of our business," CEO and founder Thomas Healy said in a statement. "The future of commercial trucking demands reduced carbon emissions and more sustainable transportation options."
The merger was first announced in June and approved in late September. Hyliion received $560 million as part of the deal.
Healy, personally rang the bell to open up NYSE markets, which peaked at $43.10 per share earlier in the week before dropping sharply the rest of the week; Thursday the markets opened with HYLN stock trading at $29.40 per share. Under Tortoise Acquisition Corp. in late September its stock peaked at $53.51 per share following news of the merger with Hyliion.
Healy, 28, is on track to become the country's youngest self-made billionaire as part of the merger, according to Forbes. As part of public SEC filings, it was revealed that Healy maintained the biggest control of the company, 22.9%, equating to nearly $1.5 billion in value as of late September when the deal was finalized.
"He may not be as slick as the other billionaire electric truck impresarios Elon Musk or Nikola's disgraced former CEO Trevor Milton, but Healy has one up on both Tesla and Nikola when it comes to getting revolutionary tech onto the road," Forbes author Christopher Helman wrote about the Hyliion executive.
Healy told the Austin American-Statesman that his company primarily serves large company fleets in the long-haul trucking industry using equipment that either offsets or replaces energy normally generated by fuel.
Hyliion currently employs about 70 people, with plans to have at least 220 employees by 2022, according to the Statesman, as part of an economic development package with Cedar Park.
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Terry Black’s Barbecue is journeying outside of the smoked meats sphere and into the hospitality sector, announcing plans to open “Friday Mountain,” a resort-style vineyard near Driftwood.
According to a report from the Austin Business Journal, Friday Mountain will be located on 64 acres at 150 Concord Circle, featuring a boutique hotel with 22 rooms, a 14-acre vineyard and a 20,000-square-foot underground wine facility, a spa, event space, all-day café and high-end restaurant. Construction is poised to start in the next month.
The courtyard outside of the event space will echo Hill Country architecture. (Rogers-O'Brien Construction)
Co-owner Mark Black said he expects construction to last about 10 months, hoping for opening early next year, and would hire around 140 employees: 60 full-time and 80 part-time.
The new project has long been in the works for the restaurateurs—including Mark’s twin brother Mike and sister Christina—who come from the same lineage as those behind Lockhart’s Black’s BBQ but separated the business due to a falling out within the family.
Friday Mountain was originally planned to be a wedding venue but issues arising about noise, traffic and environmental concerns led the Dripping Springs City Council to ask for updated plans.
A rendering of the entrance to the planned underground wine cave. (Rogers-O'Brien Construction)
In the new plans, which have since been submitted, Black said he heard the neighborhood's concerns and is focusing on working with the right contractors to avoid issues. Black said he knows not everyone will be on board with the venue but that it will provide a little something for everyone.
To bring the concept to life, Black is partnering with engineers at Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., architects at Lawrence Group, and Rogers-O’Brien Construction Co. Ltd. as the general contractor.
As for the vineyard, Black has partnered with Salt Lick Cellars to have wine aged and ready to drink wine upon opening and will hand off wine making operations to enthusiast Phil Price.
According to a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filing, the project will cost an estimated $20 million to be completed in January 2023.
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The Texas French Bread Bakery, located on 2900 Rio Grande Street, has been completely destroyed after a fire erupted on Monday night.
The Austin Fire Department responded to the fire just before 11 p.m., where they arrived to see flames coming from the roof of the bakery. Firefighters fought the fire for about an hour before the roof collapsed.
While no one was injured in the fire, firefighters say the historic building was completely totaled.
Texas French Bread just went up in flames pic.twitter.com/agXqKN3c00
— Jordan (@AimIessFriend) January 25, 2022
AFD determined that the fire was accidental and caused by mechanical failure. AFD said the damages amounted to $1.6 million total: $1.1 million in structural damage and $500,000 in damage to the contents of the bakery.
This year, Texas French Bread will celebrate 40 years of business. Before the bakery occupied the building, it was the Rome Inn, a music venue that hosted 1970s artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan.