Volta Inc. (NYSE: $VLTA) and Shell USA Inc., a subsidiary of Shell plc (NYSE: SHEL), have finalised a merger agreement whereby Shell will acquire the former in an all-cash deal valued at $169 million. With this move, Volta's dual charging and media network will become part of the renowned Shell brand, enabling them to unlock novel opportunities for growth in the electric vehicle charging industry.
Shell USA has decided to purchase each and every stock from Volta, an EV charging network with 3,050 locations. During 2022 Volta came in second only to Tesla in customer satisfaction for Level 2 charging stations.
Volta is the second electrified vehicle (EV) charging company to bear the Shell trademark since Greenlots was obtained by Royal Dutch Shell in 2019. At present, Volta operates 3,050 destination chargers across 31 states and Europe. As per the media statement, they are already aiming to add another 3,400 stands over a yet-to-be-revealed timeframe.
Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer, said, "The shift to e-mobility is unstoppable, and Shell recognizes Volta's industry-leading dual charging and media model delivers a public charging offering that is affordable, reliable, and accessible. While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta's ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited. This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward."
Volta caught the eye of investors at its inception, raising upwards of $200 million long before it adopted a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) path. Its stock price has since fallen drastically, and Volta's cash reserves have since been exhausted. To ensure Volta’s successful closure of the acquisition, their affiliate partner Shell will extend loans to assist them through this period. It is estimated that the acquisition will be finalised during the initial half of 2023.
The soon-to-be pairing of Shell USA's Volta and Greenlots, which will become Shell Recharge Solutions, stands to reach a total of 57,000 charging stalls globally. Additionally, Shell New Energies is investing in offshore wind farms in New Jersey.
The Board of Directors for Volta have unanimously agreed that the transaction is in the stockholders' best interests and are recommending approval of it and adoption of the merger agreement at the upcoming special meeting.
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