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

Electric vehicles updates

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, according to people familiar with the matter. 

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. 

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The proceeds include $552m held in the Spac trust as well as $150m from institutional investors. The so-called private investment in 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 EV charging stations set to go public through a Spac merger, following US peers such as ChargePoint and EVgo last year.

Spacs have tapped into voracious public market demand for new stocks focused on the emerging EV sector. Investors, particularly retail traders, have been eager to find the next Tesla. 

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

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 after 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 company generated €50m in revenues last year and has estimated this will rise to €86m in 2021, eventually growing to €1.2bn in 2026. Allego forecasts it will report its first pre-tax profit in 2024, with its largest full-year loss projected for 2021 when the company is increasing its capital expenditure by more than 500 per cent to €125m. 

The use of long-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.

British start-up Arrival combined with CIIG Merger Corp in a $5.4bn deal while London-based fintech group Paysafe struck a deal with Foley Trasimene Acquisition II that valued the company at $9bn.

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