Residential solar and storage provider Suntuity Renewables plans to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, the latest clean-tech firm to take that path to market even as investor enthusiasm for such stocks dims.
Suntuity, based in New Jersey, will merge with Beard Energy Transition Acquisition Corp. in a deal expected to give the combined company a $249 million pro-forma enterprise value. The boards of both businesses have approved the deal, which is expected to close in this year’s fourth quarter. Beard is led by Gregory Beard, former head of natural resources at private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc.
Founded in 2008, Suntuity provides residential solar arrays and batteries in 25 states. But chief executive officer Dan Javan says he sees rooftop panels as just an entry point into a fast-evolving home energy market.
As part of the fight against climate change, many states are pushing for all-electric homes, eliminating natural gas use and the emissions that come with it. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has made the switch to electric cars a cornerstone of his climate and economic policies. Javan sees great potential in managing how those homes and cars interact with the electric grid.
“We look at ourselves as a home electrification company — solar happens to be the gateway,” he said in an interview.
The last three years have seen a host of companies involved in the energy transition go public via SPAC, especially startups focusing on electric cars and advanced batteries. Many of the resulting stocks, however, now languish well below their debut price.