BlackRock could inject half a billion euros into high-power charging


U.S. investment firm BlackRock will lead a € 750 million capital raise through the Ionity joint venture, which intends to use the money to further expand its high-power charging network, the reports report. German media. There is also an indication of the next stage of expansion.

Magazine director refers to those involved saying that BlackRock itself would invest 500 million euros as part of the capital increase. According to the report, the remaining 250 million euros would come from the current owners of Ionity, namely Audi and Porsche of the VW Group, Daimler, BMW, Ford and Hyundai-Kia.

The capital increase would value Ionity at 2.25 billion euros. The US investor would thus have a 22 per cent stake in the billing joint venture. However, Ionity has not confirmed the capital increase or BlackRock’s investment.

The report does not provide any details on the size of the planned HPC addition. During a presentation by a Porsche representative at an event in Germany, there was talk of doubling the number of venues in the near future. We remember: during the construction phase, Ionity wanted to build 400 sites across Europe. To date, the company has not quite hit its target. If the number of sites were doubled, Ionity would operate 800 HPC charging stations in Europe in the medium term. It is not unrealistic.

The fact that Ionity is looking for outside investors has been evident since last winter. As the automakers involved wanted to accelerate the costly expansion of HPC, they aimed to attract private capital. In January, financial circles spoke of “at least 500 million euros”. Big bank BNP Paribas was supposed to help find investors, and names such as Macquarie, EQT, Meridiam, OMERS and IFM were mentioned among the potentially interested parties – but not BlackRock.

In the summer, French carmaker Renault and Dutch oil multinational Shell are said to be two of the many interested parties. But as Magazine director Now writes, Shell as an “undecided bidder” had delayed talks and the owners disagreed. Shell is keen to expand its own charging network, but it is currently uncertain whether to cooperate with Ionity or compete.

If the information is correct, Renault will not participate in the current capital increase – but this could have a good reason: the extension of the network consuming colossal sums, the next round of financing is already being prepared, according to the speakers. Renault is apparently interested in it.

While for automakers, HPC expansion is a critical part of transformation as they advance in electric mobility, BlackRock takes a different point of view. “For investors like Blackrock, investments like Ionity are seen as infrastructure assets: low but predictable returns,” writes Magazine director.

With a report by Sebastian Schaal, Germany. (in german, paywall)


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