TPG Pace Beneficial Finance Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement with ENGIE New Business S.A.S., a wholly owned subsidiary of ENGIE S.A. (“Engie”), to acquire its subsidiary EVBox Group for a combination of cash and equity. EVBox is a leading global provider of smart charging solutions for electric vehicles with Europe’s largest installed base of charging solutions and the most advanced cloud-based software offering.
The transaction is expected to provide EVBox with significant growth capital to expand its reach globally, with focus on Europe and North America, and broaden its technology portfolio, positioning the company to drive and benefit from the growing wave of EV adoption. Following the transaction, EVBox expects to have more than $425 million of cash on its balance sheet, including a portion of the proceeds of TPG Pace’s fully committed Private Investment in Public Equity (“PIPE”) of $225 million, $100 million from TPG Pace’s Forward Purchase Agreements and $350 million of cash held in TPG Pace’s trust account. EVBox also expects to benefit from the partnership with TPG, which has a proven track record of assisting high-growth technology companies successfully transition to the public equity markets. ENGIE will retain a more than 40 percent ownership stake in the Company and expects to continue as a key partner of the Company following the transaction.
“For over a decade, EVBox has been a pioneer in the electric vehicle charging industry, developing and launching innovative software propositions along with award-winning charging stations. We are now scaled for further global expansion and to take a leading role in the anticipated acceleration of EV adoption as we work towards a future where everyday transportation is electric, emission-free and sustained by a clean charging infrastructure,” said Kristof Vereenooghe, President and CEO of EVBox Group. “The global support for this future is ever more evident as world leaders convene in two days for the Climate Ambition Summit to set even more aggressive national goals. With our new partners at TPG, support from ENGIE and a prestigious group of new investors, we anticipate being well positioned to help meet these goals by accelerating product development and providing end-to-end solutions to our expanding customer base, particularly in North America.”
“TPG’s position as one the first movers in both SPACs and impact investing gives us a distinct advantage to help select purpose-driven and disruptive companies as they transition to the public equity markets. We believe that EVBox is a perfect fit with our investment thesis, and we are positioned to help accelerate the growth of this market-leading impact company by providing significant capital and capabilities to assist its mission,” said Karl Peterson, of TPG Pace Group. “We look forward to collaborating with Kristof and the extremely talented EVBox team on the next phase of their growth story and using our network to help them expand on both sides of the Atlantic.”
EVBox is focused on solving the unique demands of customers, businesses and drivers in the dynamic EV industry, and driving innovations that anticipate future market needs. EVBox offers a portfolio of both hardware and enterprise software solutions and has built the industry’s largest installed base of EV charging solutions, with more than 190,000 charge ports across 70 countries. The Company’s growth is driven by sales of equipment as well as recurring-revenue software subscriptions, services and transaction processing fees. EVBox’s open architecture SaaS platform, Everon, serves as the backbone of the offering, with a cloud-native, charging management solution that can support both EVBox and third-party hardware. The Everon software enables new monetization opportunities for charging station owners, supports dynamic load management and enables integration with other software via APIs. EVBox’s offering also includes a complete suite of award-winning AC level 2 and DC fast and ultra-fast, smart charging stations, ranging from 3 to 350 kW, all served by mobility services offered through partners worldwide. EVBox is also a founding member of the Open Charge Alliance and its offerings comply with all Open Charge Point Protocols.
Michael MacDougall, President of TPG Pace, said, “We’ve been closely following this sector and have come to appreciate that charging solutions in Europe are several years ahead of the U.S. and poised to experience explosive growth from the green initiatives of governments, major corporations, automotive OEMs and consumers, alike. EVBox has an enviable position as a clear leader across Europe with the best charging station offering and a clearly differentiated cloud-based software solution that will be an even more important factor in the next stage of this critical market’s evolution.”
“As part of its refocus on renewables and clean technology, ENGIE acquired EVBox in 2017. Since then, EVBox has been at the forefront in providing EV charging solutions in Europe,” said Yves Le Gélard, Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer at ENGIE. “We have been impressed by EVBox’s pace of technology development and look forward to the Company’s continued evolution as an independent publicly traded company. The acquisition of EVBox enabled ENGIE to quickly step into the electric charging market, and to build strong positions across Europe. ENGIE now plans to focus its efforts towards design and operation of EV charging infrastructures. eMobility remains at the core of our strategy and we look forward to EVBox being a strong partner to ENGIE.”
TPG Pace worked extensively with its affiliate, Y Analytics, to measure and quantify the Company’s ESG performance and impact. Y Analytics is a distinctive capability in the ESG and impact investing marketplace, leveraging research and fact-based evidence to generate value-centric ESG and impact performance insights for the investment process. Y Analytics concluded that EVBox presents a transformational opportunity for positive environmental impact, estimating that over the next five years, EVBox’s product offering has the potential to catalyze EV adoption at a rate that averts more than 19 million metric tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the vehicles. Following the transaction, Y Analytics expects to continue to work with EVBox to help the Company effectively communicate and track its ESG performance and impact.
TPG has had a long-standing commitment to fostering ESG performance in its portfolio and has grown The Rise Fund, its $5 billion impact investing platform, to become the largest of its kind in the private markets. The firm has an extensive track-record of identifying markets at inflection points and supporting disruptive high-growth companies poised to catalyze or accelerate structural changes in those markets. TPG also has deep experience transitioning companies from the private to public market, having taken 55 companies public over the past 10 years. With that expertise, the firm launched the TPG Pace Group in 2015 to sponsor SPACs and other permanent capital solutions for companies and has since successfully completed five SPAC IPOs to date.
The business combination values EVBox at an implied $969 million enterprise value. Upon transaction closing, and assuming no redemptions by TPG Pace stockholders, EVBox is expected to have approximately $425 million in cash, and a total pro-forma equity value of approximately $1.394 billion.
TPG Pace raised capital through an initial public offering for the purpose of entering into a merger, stock purchase or similar business combination with one or more businesses. The combined company will be renamed EVBox Group. Its common shares and warrants are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the ticker symbols “EVB” and “EVB WS” Upon closing, EVBox will have a nine person board and a majority of independent directors.
Cash proceeds raised in the transaction will be used to fund operations, support growth and notably pay cash consideration of up to $180 million to ENGIE.
ENGIE expects that the transaction will result in a net debt decrease of ca 0.2 bn€ and EVBox no longer being consolidated in its accounts, with ENGIE’s remaining approximate 40+% shareholding accounted by the equity method.
The transaction is subject to approval by the TPG Pace shareholders and other customary closing conditions. Both ENGIE and TPG Pace have all other required approvals for the proposed transaction. The transaction is expected to close late Q1 2021.