Nikola shares jump after report says GM executive backs deal

(Reuters) – Shares of Nikola Corp NKLA.O rose nearly 10% on Wednesday after a General Motors GM.N executive told CNBC the Detroit-based automaker still sees a partnership with the electric-vehicle start-up being a great opportunity.

The report quoted GM President Mark Reuss saying there were “great” operational cost advantages, efficiencies and opportunities from the partnership. (

The alliance announced in September included plans for GM to receive an 11% stake in Nikola, then worth about $2 billion, and payments up to $700 million for building the startup’s Badger pickup.

Days after the deal was announced, short-seller Hindenburg Research released a scathing report that called Nikola a “fraud” and said its founder and then executive chairman Trevor Milton had made false claims about Nikola’s proprietary technology.

GM has maintained that it was “continuing discussions” with Nikola on the alliance deal.

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