Shell keeps accelerating its “green buying” attempts as the oil and gas corporation acquires another US charging business. Volta Charging and its entire network of existing and planned charge points now belong to Shell for $169 mn.
Volta Charging is known for charge columns bearing large screens to display advertising with revenues used to pay for “free” charging. The company was active in 31 US states and established a network of 3,000 charge points with another 3,400 installations in the pipeline.
The acquisition sees Shell buying right into new off-highway locations since the advertising option had enabled Volta Charging to score sites at “prime spots and portfolio-level contracts with site hosts in high-value, high-traffic markets,” so the company. These are malls and other shopping destinations, and Shell says the acquisition “seeks to unlock robust, long-term growth opportunities in electric vehicle charging”.
Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer, said, “While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta’s ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited. This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward.”
Under the merger agreement’s terms, Shell USA will acquire all outstanding Volta shares for an equity purchase price of approximately $169 million / $0.86/share in cash. The corporation will also repay Volta’s 3rd party debt, estimated at $14 million. The merger closing is subject to Volta’s stockholders’ approval and other regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
It is, however, just the subsequent acquisition to secure Shell a foothold in the EV charging market. The petrol chemical giant also owns Greenlots, NewMotion, Ubitricity or software provider Drivz and other e-mobility-related businesses. It is also a partner to Ionity, Nio and BYD, to name but a few.
The buyouts have led to Shell operating around 90,000 EV charging ports at Shell-branded locations and other places, with an extra 300,000 stations available through roaming partnerships. The company aims to run and earn from 500,000 EV charge points worldwide by 2025.
Yet, Shell continues exploring and exploiting oil and gas fields, with investments and earnings beyond comparable. Most recently, the company has also been named in a report revealing that more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by major carbon emitters such as Shell are worthless – and this is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg.
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