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Clean Vehicles

Amazon’s Charging Partner for Electric Vans Agrees to SPAC Deal

Photo Credit: Adrian Sulyok

(Bloomberg) —

An electric-vehicle charging startup that powers Amazon.com Inc.’s delivery vans in the U.K. has agreed to merge with a U.S. blank-check firm and go public late this year.

The transaction between EO Charging and First Reserve Sustainable Growth Corp. will imply a combined enterprise value of $675 million, the companies said Thursday. The deal will net EO more than $150 million in cash.

Chief Executive Officer Charlie Jardine started Suffolk-based EO as a 24-year-old from a pig shed in his grandfather’s barn in 2014. The company has deployed roughly 50,000 chargers in more than 35 countries and serves fleet operators including Amazon, Tesco Plc and Uber Technologies Inc.

“That real focus on fleets is what has differentiated us from the competition,” Jardine said in a phone interview. “The electrification of vans, trucks and buses is just getting started.”

EO offers customers hardware, software, installation, service and maintenance services. Its pan-European contract with Amazon, for example, includes software and service in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and Ireland. The company can dispatch an engineer to any Amazon site in those countries within about 90 minutes.

Last year, EO recorded positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Jardine said. The company has about 130 employees and is only “scratching the surface of Europe,” with its main markets historically having been the U.K., Ireland and Norway.

“Governments across Europe and elsewhere, and board rooms across Europe and the U.S., are really driving electrification across fleets,” First Reserve CEO Neil Wizel said by phone. “Those are really tailwinds for EO.”

After expanding in Europe in a meaningful way, the company will consider entering other markets including the U.S.

EO is the latest in a litany of startups with exposure to electric vehicles to reach a deal with a special purpose acquisition company. After 10 such listing in May, June and July, a total of 23 companies have taken this route public, according to BloombergNEF. Listings among charging companies include ChargePoint Holdings Inc. and EVgo Inc.

First Reserve and EO expect to close their deal in the fourth quarter and list on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol EOC.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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