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Leclanché carves out eTransport business, intends merger with a US-based SPAC

Swiss energy storage company Leclanché has carved out its eTransport business into a wholly owned Swiss entity, Leclanché E-Mobility S.A.. Leclanché has also signed a mutually exclusive Letter of Intent with a US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) for merging with Leclanché E-Mobility S.A.

The company is working with its largest shareholder, SEFAM, and its investment advisors, to secure funding to run its operations in 2022 until completion of the intended merger of Leclanché eTransport business with the SPAC.

The SPAC has around US$140 million in its trust account which shall be complemented with the funds from a Private Investor in Public Equity (PIPE) to fully fund the five-year business plan of the merged entity. Currently, the parties and the banks appointed by the SPAC are conducting joint marketing for the PIPE.

If the process to raise capital through the PIPE is deemed satisfactory by the Board of Directors of Leclanché and the SPAC, the parties aim to announce a definitive merger agreement around mid-February 2022. That shall be followed by completion of the due process and documentation filing required under the Stock Exchange Regulations in the US. The parties expect the merger to be completed in 2Q 2022.

Further details shall be provided at the time of the announcement of a definitive merger, expected by mid-February 2022.

Business outlook. On 29 September 2021, Leclanché informed the market that the outlook for the second half of 2021 remained uncertain due to ongoing worldwide supply chain issues. Worsening factory gate prices, the cost at which wholesalers buy materials from producers, transportation choke points and increased shipping times are causing delays across a wide range of businesses worldwide.

Leclanché has reviewed the current worldwide supply chain situation and its impact on its production capacity including longer lead-times for raw materials; shortage of high-grade plastics parts, such as sensors and connectors; and continued requests from some customers, who are facing the same supply chain issues, to defer their 2022 deliveries. The company estimates that the current intermittent production will probably last through the end of the first quarter of 2022.

Consequently, the revenue outlook for 2021 will be essentially flat to small growth over 2020. Leclanché will provide guidance for 2022 in due course.

Notwithstanding the ongoing supply chain issues, Leclanché has recently been selected as a strategic supplier by several OEMs in the fields of specialized mining, agriculture and defense vehicles. The cumulative business from these customers is expected to add more than CHF 150 million of (US$163 million) revenue over a period of five years, with engineering services and pilot systems delivery expected from the second half of 2022.


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