Pod Point adds spark to float plan with new bank appointment

Wednesday 7th April 2021 11:00 BST

Sky News understands that the British-based company has hired Bank of America to work alongside Barclays on a prospective stock market flotation.

Pod Point, which is majority-owned by EDF, the French state-backed energy giant, wants to capitalise on rising demand for electric vehicle charging points.

City sources said a float was likely to take place this year.

Some of the blank cheque companies which have raised tens of billions of dollars in the US are also likely to be interested in pursuing a merger with Pod Point, according to bankers.

EDF bought a controlling stake in Pod Point barely a year ago, with its other shareholders including Legal & General.

Any transaction will crystallise a big paper fortune for Erik Fairbairn, the company's founder.

EV charging infrastructure providers' growth plans have been fuelled by the UK's 2030 target for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, and 2035 for phasing out hybrids.

Sources said that EDF would be likely to retain a large stake in Pod Point after an IPO as it seeks to meet its target of becoming the leading energy company for electric mobility in the UK, France, Belgium and Italy.

Pod Point says it has powered more than 459m miles of electric driving, and has a public network of nearly 4,000 charging bays.

According to recent parliamentary research, nearly 29,000 charging points will be required across Britain by 2030 to meet demand, with the number of public chargers for top-up charging needing a tenfold increase by the end of the decade from 2016 levels.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said recently that 2020 had been the best ever year for electric cars in the UK, with the market share of battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles reaching 10.7%.

Pod Point was backed by a group of venture capital funds and other early-stage investors prior to EDF announcing the takeover of the company last February.

As part of that transaction, Legal & General (L&G), the FTSE-100 insurance and pensions giant, retained a 23% stake in the technology company.

Pod Point, which declined to comment, was founded in 2009 by Mr Fairbairn and competes with rivals such as Chargemaster, which is now a subsidiary of BP.

Mr Fairbairn's company now has partnerships with Tesco and Lidl, with charging points installed at their supermarket car parks, and counts British Land, Gatwick Airport and Pepsico among its other corporate partners.

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