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Dutch electric vehicle charging group to list through Apollo-backed Spac deal

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Dutch electric vehicle charging company Allego has agreed a deal to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The deal with Apollo’s Spartan Acquisition Corp III values Allego at roughly $3.14bn and would raise about $700m for the Dutch group, assuming no redemptions by shareholders in the Spac, the companies said on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report by the Financial Times.

The proceeds include $552m held in the Spac trust as well as $150m from institutional investors. The so-called private investment in the public equity transaction includes tech financier Ian Osborne’s Hedosophia, and Fisker, the electric vehicle start-up that went public in October via Apollo’s first Spartan Spac.

Allego is the latest provider of electric vehicle charging stations set to go public through a Spac merger, following US peers ChargePoint and EVgo last year.

Spacs list on the stock market and then go hunting for a target company with which to merge. They have tapped into voracious public market demand for new stocks focused on the emerging electric vehicle sector. Investors, particularly retail traders, have been eager to find the next Tesla.

“We considered that it would be quicker to go with this route instead of going through an IPO. Or we would have to go through a big placement before an IPO,” Mathieu Bonnet, Allego’s chief executive, said in an interview.

The merger is a bet by Spartan III on the continued growth of electric vehicle companies in Europe, which last year overtook China as the largest region for sales, according to industry tracker EV-volumes.com.

Spartan III is the third energy-focused Spac sponsored by Apollo. Its deal with Allego comes just weeks after Sunlight Financial, a business that helps finance residential solar systems, became a public company following its merger with Spartan II. Shares in Sunlight Financial are trading below $10, the Spac’s initial public offering price.

Allego was founded in 2013 as the subsidiary of Dutch grid operator Alliander before being acquired by French investment firm Meridiam in 2018.

The use of far-dated revenue and profit projections by Spacs has attracted scrutiny from US regulators, who have questioned the accuracy of figures that look so far ahead.

Allego’s forecasts are based on the growth trajectory of the electric vehicle market in Europe, Bonnet said.

“These figures come from the penetration. Basically, when you look at the forecasts and the market share we have, we have already the market share we project to reach in 2026,” he said.

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