Shell and Renault are apparently two of several interested parties that want to take a stake in the fast-charging network Ionity. The final bids for a 20 to 25 per cent stake in the joint venture, worth 400 to 500 million euros, are expected to be made in July.
This is what the news agency Reuters writes, citing insiders. The expansion of the group of investors and shareholders would not come as a surprise. In March, it became clear that Ionity had engaged the major bank BNP Paribas to search for external investors. At the time, Reuters also reported that a number of investors such as Macquarie, EQT, Meridiam, OMERS and IFM were among the potentially interested parties. Now there are apparently concrete indications of expressions of interest from Renault and Shell.
Ionity has already had a location partnership with Shell since the end of 2017: both sides have agreed to set up Ionity stations at 80 Shell locations in ten European countries. These include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Netherlands.
Ionity is backed by the carmakers Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen (via Audi and Porsche) and, since the end of 2020, Hyundai-Kia. To date, the five shareholders each hold 20 per cent of the joint venture.
Managing Director Michael Hajesch recently spoke about the near future of Ionity in our sister publication’s online conference in German, ‘electrive.net live‘ on the special topic of high-power charging. “For 2021, we expect a significant increase in numbers,” Hajesch said. As further projects, he mentioned the introduction of Plug&Charge by the second quarter in all markets and the piloting of battery-based charging stations in Spain and the UK.
Ionity is known to be behind schedule with the rollout of HPC parks, with 348 of the 400 charging parks the joint venture has promised to complete by the end of 2020. The company’s CEO only hints at what activities the company is basically aiming for after the 400 completed charging parks. “We are in intensive talks with our shareholders.” What he can say is that “we are certainly not letting taking our foot off the acceleration pedal in our progressive approach”.
However, two or three of Hajesch’s comments left further room for interpretation: firstly, he welcomed the German government initiative to build 1,000 DC “federal charging parks” and indicated that Ionity would “of course look at the tender, although everything depends on what the regulation looks like at the end of the day”. On the other hand, Hajesch advocated for “more HPC and denser coverage” to prevent long queues at Ionity charging parks in the future, especially on weekends.
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