M&A Moves

French company to acquire Houston-based battery storage startup in $1B deal

Broad Reach Power's battery storage assets piqued a French company's interest. Photo via broadreachpower.com

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.

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A View From HETI

LiNova will use the funds to advance its polymer cathode battery technology. Photo via Getty Images

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.

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