CHARLOTTE – Kinston-based charter-flight operator flyExclusive began public stock trading Thursday after completing its combination with a New York special purpose acquisition company.

Shares closed at $6.85 after opening at $11.98 per share. Shares traded as low as $3.71 earlier in the day.

SPAC company EG Acquistion’s deal with flyExclusive was announced in October 2022 with an estimated equity value of $600 million at the time. The company’s market capitalization after the first day of trading is about $500 million.

Kinston based flyExclusive lands $30M state funding to build HQ & pilot training center

“Today marks another milestone in our company’s mission to elevate the private aviation experience,” FlyExclusive founder and CEO Jim Segrave said in a release. “We built flyExclusive around the value that minutes matter for our customers, and this principle will continue to guide the disciplined approach that has defined our success in the industry.”

In a Linkedin post, Segrave said the IPO is “a testament to our dedicated team, loyal customers, and the unwavering support that has fueled our journey.”

Company executives were pleased with the offering despite the declining share price, which Segrave blamed partly on pressure in the past few weeks from New York Stock Exchange officials that required flyExclusive to create more trading liquidity. Segrave owns 75% of the company’s shares, while EG officials also control a significant percentage. They have agreed not to sell shares for at least three years.

EG Acquisition is a “blank-check” company that raised $225 million when it went public in 2021. It was among hundreds of similar SPAC businesses started between 2020 and 2022, whose investors trusted veteran investors such as Hymowitz or celebrities such as Alex Rodriguez to buy promising businesses.

Read the full story at Business North Carolina.