French company to acquire Houston-based battery storage startup in $1B deal
A French utility company is buying the bulk of Houston-based Broad Reach Power’s battery energy storage business in a deal carrying an equity value of more than $1 billion.
Engie, has agreed to purchase the majority of the startup’s battery storage business from EnCap Energy Transition Fund I and three investment partners — New York City-based Yorktown Partners, Switzerland-based Mercuria Energy, and New York City-based Apollo Infrastructure Funds.
“This acquisition is fully in line with Engie’s strategy: It will contribute to the development of a low-carbon, affordable, and resilient energy system where flexible assets will play a critical role alongside renewables,” says Catherine MacGregor, the utility’s CEO.
Broad Reach launched in 2019 with backing from EnCap Energy Transition, an arm of Houston-based private equity firm EnCap Investments. Apollo Global Management, an asset manager that controls Apollo Infrastructure Funds, bought a 50 percent stake in Broad Reach in 2021.
The deal includes 350 megawatts of grid-scale battery assets that already are operating and 880 megawatts of assets under construction, primarily in the territory served by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). It also includes a 1.7-gigawatt pipeline of battery storage projects that are in the advanced stage of development and a significant pipeline of early-stage projects.
In July, Broad Reach said it had lined up $435 million in credit facilities to support the 880 megawatts’ worth of systems under construction in Texas and California.
The Broad Reach acquisition does not include the company’s 1.8-gigawatt portfolio of solar and wind power projects, or its four gigawatt-hours’ worth of battery storage in the Mountain West.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed, but the Bloomberg news service reports the deal will cause Engie to “take a $1.6 billion hit” to it net debt.
Shawn Cumberland, managing partner of EnCap and chairman of Broad Reach, calls Broad Reach “the top battery storage player in the U.S. market.” And Corinne Still, an infrastructure partner at Apollo, refers to Broad Reach as “the leading and most innovative” battery energy storage operator in North America.
“It has been a terrific honor and pleasure to be part of the rapid growth of the U.S. energy storage sector from the very beginning and see our company grow into one of the top developers,” says Doug Moorehead, founder and COO of Broad Reach.