Lessons of the Non-Tech Acquiring Tech Deal Of The Month

April 2021: Taiwan Cement Corporation acquires a 60% stake in Engie Eps SA

Electric vehicle charging

On 19 April 2021, Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC) announced the techquisition of Engie SA’s 60.48% stake in Engie Eps SA for an aggregate consideration of €132 million.

Tech – ENGIE Eps SA

Founded in 2005 and listed in Euronext market in Paris, the company was acquired by the global energy leader, ENGIE, in 2018. The company has installed storage systems and microgrids in 23 countries. ENGIE Eps products are fully developed on the HyESS platform, a “revolutionary” proprietary technology that allows the integration of every renewable source with all energy storage media, including electric vehicles and its 3 major product lines which include: Giga Storage, Industrial Solutions and eMobility.

Non-tech – Taiwan Cement Corporation

Founded in 1946, the company operates in four primary segments: cement, chemical engineering, and electricity and other segments. The electricity segment generates power through thermal and other renewable energy sources. According to An-Ping Chang, CEO of TCC, TCC will not only be a cement manufacturer and seller but also an eco-solution provider dedicated to ecological solutions and protection of the natural environment. “Environment, Energy, and Cement” are not only the three cores in TCC’s business, but also the three major pillars for the future of TCC’s development.

EMBRACING TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

On 19 April 2021, Taiwan Cement Corporation announced that its Board had agreed to acquire ENGIE’s 60.48% stake in ENGIE Eps SA for €17.10 per share in cash, for an aggregate consideration of €132 million (the “Transaction”).

This techquisition is an example of how an incumbent can adapt to industry changes by embracing technology companies that can be integrated vertically and applied to global expansion through strategic investment and acquisition.

This transaction is expected to add value to Taiwan Cement Corporation’s business by:

  1. Growth and expansion. Helping TCC grow and develop its global energy and energy storage footprint.

The deal is expected to expand TCC’s product contributions as ENGIE Eps is the owner of Giga Storage, Microgrid and other energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, and is also an industrial player focusing on energy storage systems, industrial solutions and eMobility. ENGIE EPS claims to be revolutionizing the paradigm shift in the global energy system towards renewable energy sources and electric mobility in European, American and African markets.

  1. Capability enhancement. Enhancing TCC’s technical competencies in the energy storage sector.

As part of its drive to become one of the leaders in Taiwan’s renewable energy sector, TCC has already been investing in solar, wind power, geothermal, and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). However, renewable energy is still an unstable energy source that requires energy storage systems to become the baseload power.

As a leader in the EMS and PCS technologies with a strong team of experts, ENGIE Eps can supply what TCC currently is challenged to produce in-house.

Furthermore, the combined total capacity of TCC’s three BESS containers at TCC’s Changbin Renewable Energy Base is 5.2MWh while ENGIE Eps has already developed a high-efficiency BESS that has the capacity of up to 6MWh per container, which will boost TCC’s overall capacity.

TCC has built battery energy storage systems using in-house batteries and energy management software through its subsidiaries: TCC Green Energy and E-Moli.

However, the company has still been lacking energy management and power conditioning systems that had to be procured from outside sources. The techquisition is expected to help TCC address the challenge since ENGIE Eps has developed these systems.

Additionally, TCC plans to improve Engie Eps’s portfolio of fast charging stations to help EV owners to lower charging time from eight hours to less than 30 minutes.

The company wants to leverage vehicle-2-grid capabilities to ensure EVs can be utilised as storage mechanisms helping to stabilise the grid when strained.

TCC’s transformation of its energy business and carbon reduction efforts are clear. The techquisition should help turbo-charge TCC’s clean agenda, which includes:

  • shifting from coal-fired power generation to coal-biomass power generation,
  • using alternative fuel and material to produce cement to reduce carbon emissions,
  • continuing R&D of carbon capture technologies,
  • developing renewable energy, energy storage and batteries, and
  • reducing emissions of company vehicles.

Through these efforts TCC expects to transform itself into a low-carbon and environmentally green engineering company.

From the perspective of ENGIE, this transaction will give ENGIE Eps instant access to a world leading supply chain and to the Asian markets.

The deal will also help ENGIE to focus on its core business as an asset maker, owner and solutions integrator, as well as reduce group financial net debt by ca. €165 million and generate a capital gain of ca. €80 million.

“This acquisition by a leading, visionary industrial group like TCC, represents the ultimate recognition of our world-class technology leadership and a transformational opportunity to consolidate our growth globally.”

– Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE Eps

The market reacted so favourably to the announcement that the deal effectively paid for itself.

By the end of 19 April 2021, TCC share price increased by approximately 2.9%, versus an increase of only approximately 0.6% in the TAIEX, implying an addition of a net €200 million to TCC’s market capitalisation.

This strong positive reaction from the market is understandable given the potentially transformative synergies associated with the transaction and TCC’s ongoing efforts to build on its renewable energy strategy.

UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF ADVANCED ELECTRIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES

The global market value of charging stations and related products is expected to reach $450 billion by 2025, according to Marketsandmarkets ASD Reports.

The EV market is forecasted to grow significantly which means demand for charging and fast charging stations will also experience tremendous growth.

EVs currently face challenges such as long charging times and higher vehicle prices, despite their clear advantages. For every 100 kilometers, the cost of fuel for EVs is only $2.80, while for fuel cars this is $12 (and for hydrogen cars $7.80).

TCC believes in the growth potential of fast charging stations, which can help EV owners to lower the charging time from eight hours to less than 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, fast charging technology is ENGIE Eps’ core strength. Currently, EV charging is mono-directional, i.e. G2V (grid-to-vehicle), but ENGIE Eps technology is bidirectional (V2G, vehicle-to-grid) which means electricity can be transferred from the EV battery back to the grid making the EV a mobile power bank.

TCC believes this is an important technology for the future and aims to play a key role in the EV-related equipment market.

TCC Chairman Chang has stated that “The development of energy will continue to move forward and renewable energy is the only choice for the futurebecause if carbon emissions continue to grow, humans will face unprecedented disasters caused by climate change, so carbon emissions reduction is the most important topic. Furthermore, energy storage is a key part of renewable energy development because without energy storage, renewable energy cannot be effectively used.”

THE QUOTE

“To enter the global market, you have to cooperate with global enterprises. We cannot only focus on the Taiwan market when expanding our energy business, we need to be globally competitive.”

– Nelson Chang, Chairman of Taiwan Cement Corporation

Taiwan Cement Corporation’s acquisition of Engie Eps SA is an example of how a non-tech traditional company is actively engaging in the journey of transforming itself to deliver greater value to its shareholders and customers by properly positioning itself for the future.

The essence of such a transformation unfolding is embedded in a strategy execution methodology we have trademarked and call Techquisition, which my firm, Aquaa Partners, designed and delivers to its clients as an experienced and trusted partner.

Source(s): Aquaa Partners, company websites, PR Newswire, MergerMarket, World Cement, Pitchbook, Capital IQ, pv magazine, Forbes, LinkedIn, BatteryIndustry

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