Leclanché says liquidity ‘tight’ ahead of SPAC deal

Leclanché says liquidity ‘tight’ ahead of SPAC deal

Leclanché says liquidity ‘tight’ ahead of SPAC deal 1024 742 Energy Storage Journal

March 17, 2022: Swiss energy storage company Leclanché said on February 24 it had secured a Sfr20.4 million ($21.8 million) bridging loan to run its operations — ahead of a merger of its e-mobility business with a US-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Leclanché said in the “substantial business update” announcement that the loan from the SPAC’s largest shareholder, SEFAM, was helpful — but warned its liquity remained tight.

In addition, SEFAM has also agreed to subordinate Sfr40 million of its loans to remedy Leclanché’s negative equity position as of the end of 2021 and until May-June 2022, at which time the battery company expects the merger of its Leclanché E-Mobility with the SPAC to be complete.

Leclanché’s board has approved a new operating model for the company after the merger deal, to focus growth on two independent divisions — Leclanché focused on stationary energy storage solutions and speciality battery systems and Leclanché E-Mobility, focused on the e-transport business.

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SEFAM has committed an investment of up to $50 million through a private investor in public equity (PIPE) deal to fully fund a five-year business plan for the merged entity.

“The tight liquidity and global supply chain disruption continues to impact cell and systems production, thus significantly reducing deliveries to customers in the short term,” Leclanché said.

CEO Anil Srivastava said the company was also in talks with other potential investors and lenders to boost working capital and called for understanding from key suppliers “when, regrettably, some payments are late from time to time”.

But Srivastava said he was confident all due payments would be restored to the “normal level in the coming months”.

Leclanché formally carved out its Leclanché E-Mobility business into a wholly-owned Swiss entity on January 1.

Meanwhile, CFO Hubert Angleys is leaving Leclanché, “independent of the restructuring”, the company said. Fabrizio Pauletti has been appointed interim CFO until completion of the merger and he will work with Angleys during the transition.

Photo: Leclanché’s LeBlock ESS