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Swiss clean energy firm lists on NYSE via SPAC deal

Energy Vault's energy storage tower. Photo: Energy Vault
Energy Vault's energy storage tower. Photo: Energy Vault

Energy Vault is teaming up with Novus Capital Corporation II (NXU), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), to float on the NYSE as it hopes to solve the world’s clean energy storage problems.

The transaction values the combined company at an implied pro-forma enterprise value of $1.1bn (£794m)

Net cash from the transaction will fund growth of the combined company and global deployment of Energy Vault’s technologies.

This is in addition to a recent private Series C funding round of $100m, which was led by Prime Movers Lab, with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 1 and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, among others.

Energy Vault believes that while demand for clean energy like wind and solar is booming worldwide, with renewables expected to become 90% of total energy generation by 2050, current storage solutions are inefficient.

For instance pumped hydro, which is approximately 90% of the current global storage capacity market, and chemical batteries, both face significant challenges of scalability along with safety and environmental risks.

Grid-scale energy storage capacity will need to increase tenfold in the next 10 years and this will require more than $270bn of investment over that timeframe.

Energy Vault has developed a gravity energy storage platform that is designed to be cost-efficient and safe to operate plus environmentally sustainable.

Read more: UK’s Oxford Nanopore plans £2.5bn float on London Stock Exchange

It is inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on the power of gravity to store and discharge energy, combined with Energy Vault’s material science and software innovations.

The system is run by Energy Vault’s AI-enabled software platform.

“As we focus now on the execution and deployment phase of the technology, we are thrilled to partner with the team at Novus who fully supports our mission of decarbonization and brings a deep experience set in new technology market development on a global scale," said CEO Robert Piconi.

Meanwhile, Robert Laikin, CEO of Novus said Energy Vault, has a "unique approach to addressing the need for dispatchable power delivery".

"In our view, Energy Vault is the only grid-scale pure ESG energy storage company that exists in the market today," he said.

The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the proposed transaction. The closing is subject to the approval of Energy Vault’s stockholders, Novus’ stockholders and other customary conditions.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

A SPAC is a company formed solely to raise capital through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. Also known as 'blank check companies', they have recently become popular, raising a record amount of IPO money in 2019.

Watch: What are SPACs?