Gridserve, a leading sustainable energy company, has announced a groundbreaking investment of £526 million, making it the largest debt raise ever achieved globally by a privately-owned charge point operator. This substantial investment showcases the market's unwavering confidence in the transition to electric mobility and Gridserve's mission to facilitate net zero transport at a rapid pace.
The financing includes £326 million in committed loan facilities and an additional £200 million uncommitted accordion facility earmarked for future assets. The funds will be utilized to accelerate the upgrade and expansion of Gridserve's UK network, encompassing the installation of more than 500 new Electric Super Hubs and Electric Forecourts across the country. These hubs are projected to house over 3,000 new High Power charge points, boasting class-leading speeds of up to 350kW, capable of delivering 100 miles of charge in just 5 minutes.
Gridserve's visionary ‘Sun-to-Wheel' platform is at the core of this ambitious initiative, aiming to develop, deliver, and operate world-class, customer-focused electric vehicle charging networks powered by a smart combination of solar energy and batteries. This pioneering approach aligns with the company's commitment to contribute to achieving net zero transport and combating the pressing climate crisis, with a focus on limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C.
The existing Electric Forecourts have proven very popular with any EV drivers who have used them. By the end of 2023, there will be Electric Forecourts in Braintree, Norwich and Gatwick – with many more planned. Alongside an array of some of the fastest chargers in the UK, these sites also offer a comfortable place to wait, get drinks/snacks and even to hold meetings.
What sets this financing apart is that it marks the first officially designated green loan for EV charging infrastructure in the UK. Gridserve's Green Finance Framework, which underpins the financing, has been certified ‘Dark Green' by S&P Global's Shades of Green (formerly CICERO), attesting to the project's sustainability and positive environmental impact.
Toddington Harper, Founder and CEO of Gridserve, expressed immense pride in securing such substantial funding for the company's electric vehicle charging network. He highlighted that this transaction garnered overwhelming market demand, reflecting the growing confidence and enthusiasm for electric vehicles in the UK. The financing will enable Gridserve to further boost customer confidence in adopting electric vehicles and contribute significantly to combating climate change.
The group of banks backing the debt raise, also referred to as ‘the bank club', includes major players such as CIBC, KfW Ipex, Lloyds Bank, MUFG, Natixis, NatWest, Santander, and the UK Infrastructure Bank. Santander, in addition to being part of the bank club, is also acting as the Green Structuring Bank, providing valuable expertise and guidance in aligning the financing with green principles. Gridserve has received advice and support from Santander Corporate & Investment Banking, further solidifying their collaborative relationship.
Various other reputable advisors and due diligence providers played pivotal roles in the financing process. Clifford Chance provided legal counsel, Arup offered commercial insights, PwC handled tax and financial aspects, Aon managed insurance matters, and Mazars conducted a thorough model audit. On the other side, lenders were advised by Latham & Watkins, a renowned legal advisory firm. Lloyds, one of the leading UK banks, holds the prestigious role of Facility Agent and Security Bank, while Natixis serves as the Hedging Coordinator.
Gridserve's technology-agnostic approach is a key strength of the company, and they pride themselves on their proprietary data platform, which continuously grows and evolves. This innovative platform enables them to optimize their operations and cater to the evolving needs of electric vehicle owners, ensuring seamless and efficient charging experiences.
In conclusion, Gridserve's monumental investment of £526 million marks a significant milestone in the UK's efforts to transition to electric mobility and achieve net zero transport. The company's commitment to sustainable energy solutions, supported by innovative technology and strategic partnerships, positions them as a driving force in the fight against climate change. As the world seeks urgent action to combat the climate crisis, Gridserve's mission aligns perfectly with the demand for a greener, more sustainable future.
This investment will also, effectively, open up to 500 new EV showrooms for Gridserve.