- Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) founder and chairman Trevor Milton announced recently that he is giving the first 50 employees of the company 6 million of his shares, valued at about $233 million
Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) founder and chairman Trevor Milton announced recently that he is giving the first 50 employees of the company 6 million of his shares, which was valued at $233 million at the time of the announcement. This decision is based on a promise that Milton made them when they were hired.
“When I first started this company I was looking for the best employees in the world and it was a huge risk,” said Milton in an Instagram post via Bloomberg. “The likelihood of us ever succeeding was like next to none and luckily I found an incredible group of employees that started with me from day one.”
I love our employees. They make Nikola great & are the key to our success. I'm making good on my promise when I hired the first +- 50 employees – giving 6,000,000 of my personal shares to them. You'll see a reduction in my holdings for this. They are not sold, but given.
— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) August 26, 2020
The grant of options for shares of common stock is not going to dilute shareholders and there is not going to be any compensation by the company to Milton. The company employees are subject to a lock-up requirement through November 30.
Nikola’s shares have increased since it started trading on the Nasdaq through a reverse merger in early June through a SPAC. Nikola has not produced a vehicle yet, but the company is benefitting from the growing popularity of electric vehicles. Trevor Milton, 37, has an estimated net worth of $4.62 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. But that will drop after the share transfer completes.
Milton said that he is not planning to sell his stock. And he has received approval from Nikola’s board to borrow against his stake for adding to his position.
“It could be worth billions in the future if we do well,” said Milton about the stock rewards given to the early employees. “Who knows where it will go. But I am making good on my promise.”
A couple of the company’s first employees who are receiving the stock awards have departed the company since then.
Nikola is in the process of developing hydrogen fuel cell-powered semi-trucks. And some of the company’s early investors include CNH Industrial NV, ValueAct Capital Management, Hanwha Group, and Worthington Industries (Milton’s former employer).
Photo Credit: Trevor Milton
Disclosure: I own several shares of Nikola