FREYR Provides an End of First Quarter 2021 Company Update
FREYR AS, (the "Company" or "FREYR"), the Norway-based developer of clean, next-generation battery cell production capacity set to become a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") in the second quarter of 2021 through a business combination with Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp. ("Alussa Energy"), today provides an end-of-quarter company update.
Key developments in the first quarter of 2021:
- Announced business combination with Alussa Energy and NYSE listing, providing an estimated $850 million in equity funding for up to 43 GWh of clean battery cell production capacity
- Transaction anchored by strategic and institutional investors, including Koch Strategic Platforms, Glencore, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Franklin Templeton, Sylebra Capital and Van Eck Associates Corporation
- The combined company will be named FREYR Battery and have an experienced board of directors upon transaction completion, including Jeremy Bezdek, Managing Director at Koch Strategic Platforms, and Olaug Svarva, previously CEO of The Government Pension Fund Norway
- FREYR is progressing multiple customer relationships towards offtake agreements across all target segments amid strengthening market fundamentals as electric vehicle equipment manufacturers and other off-takers increasingly require a strategic, localized, low-cost and low-carbon supply of battery cells to accelerate the energy transition
- FREYR is advancing its pipeline of potential up- and downstream value-chain partnerships for cost competitive raw-material supply and additional access points to target markets
- Announced non-binding letter of intent ("LOI") with Glencore for supply of up to 3,755 tonnes of high-grade sustainably sourced cobalt metal cut cathodes
- Development of FREYR's pilot/customer qualification plant progressing with expected construction completion in the first half of 2022 on brownfield site in Mo i Rana, Norway, tenders issued for all production equipment
- Strengthened leadership team and initiated expansion of wider organization to execute modularized Gigafactory development plan matching market demand and enabling further growth
- Received Norwegian government grants of NOK 181 million (approximately $21 million) supporting technology development and production plans
"In line with our market expectations of exponential growth in battery cell demand, we see increasing signs of supply shortages as the global energy transition and decarbonization of transportation and energy systems accelerate. This is reflected in strong progress on an increasing number of customer dialogues within FREYR's target markets of electrical vehicles, energy storage systems and marine applications. The underlying battery cell supply shortage creates positive market dynamics supporting offtake of significant volumes under competitive contracts for localized low cost, low carbon battery cell suppliers. Our strategy for rapid scale-up of low cost, clean production capacity based on commercially introduced, next-generation battery technology partnerships is highly appreciated by both prospective customers and an increasing number of potential value-chain partners," says Tom Jensen, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FREYR.
"We are on track to deliver on our ambition of producing battery cells with high energy density at low cost with the world's lowest carbon footprint positioning FREYR as one of Europe's largest battery cell suppliers by 2025," adds Torstein Dale Sj?tveit, FREYR's Executive Chairman.
NYSE listing to provide funding for phased battery cell Gigafactory development
On 29 January 2021, FREYR announced that it will become a publicly listed company through a business combination with Alussa Energy, raising approximately $850 million in equity proceeds, assuming no redemptions of Alussa Energy shareholders, to accelerate the development of up to 43 GWh clean battery cell manufacturing capacity in Norway. The transaction includes a $600 million fully committed Private Investment in Public Equity ("PIPE") anchored by strategic and institutional investors, including Koch Strategic Platforms, Glencore, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Franklin Templeton, Sylebra Capital and Van Eck Associates Corporation. 100% of FREYR's existing shares will roll over into the combined company.
Subject to closing conditions being met, the combined company will be named "FREYR Battery" ("Pubco") and its common stock is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FREY upon closing, expected in the second quarter of 2021. On 16 February 2021, the extraordinary general meeting of FREYR approved the business combination. Alussa Energy expects its Special Meeting to approve the business combination to take place between second half of April and first half of May 2021.
Pubco will have an eight-person board of directors. FREYR has nominated Torstein Dale Sj?tveit, Peter Matrai and Olaug Svarva as directors of Pubco. Svarva is the Chair of the Board of DNB ASA, Norway's largest financial institution and Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries and a Director at Investinor AS, an evergreen investment company funded by the Norwegian government. Svarva was previously CEO of The Government Pension Fund Norway from 2006 to 2018. Matrai is a co-founder of FREYR with decades of experience in finance, technology commercialization and operations within bioenergy and sustainability ventures. Sj?tveit is one of the founders of FREYR, Chairman nominee and brings over 35 years of executive leadership experience developing complex utility and energy projects globally.
Alussa Energy has tentatively nominated Daniel Barcelo, German Cura and Monica Tiuba as directors of Pubco. Tiuba is a Director of the Board of Tenaris S.A. and the Chair of the audit committee; Cura is Vice Chairman of the Board of Tenaris S.A.; and Barcelo is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alussa Energy.
FREYR and Alussa Energy have also agreed to nominate to the Pubco board of directors Jeremy Bezdek, a Managing Director at Koch Strategic Platforms, a strategic investor in the PIPE.
Progressing Norway's first industrial scale lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility
At end of March, FREYR commenced development of its pilot/customer qualification plant by preparing the brownfield site for installation of production equipment to optimize manufacturing of clean, low-cost and high-energy density battery cells based on renewable energy.
The pilot/customer qualification plant is expected to be Norway's first industrial scale lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility when operational in 2022. It will use 24M Technologies' ("24M") disruptive SemiSolid lithium-ion battery platform technology to develop and qualify battery cell designs and support FREYR's plan to build up to 43 GWh of battery cell production capacity by 2025. FREYR targets announcing the supplier of production equipment for the pilot plant at end-of-May based on ongoing tender processes.
FREYR is currently participating in more than 40 ongoing customer dialogues and will leverage the pilot plant to produce sample battery cells for customer qualification and product certification to support customer off-take agreements. FREYR has in recent months announced non-binding memoranda of understanding with Siemens Energy AS, Scatec ASA, Maersk Norge AS and ITOCHU Corporation to supply battery cells to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy solutions.
FREYR is also maturing relationships across the battery supply chain according to its partnership-based strategy, and on 1 February 2021, the Company announced a non-binding LOI with Glencore International AG for supply of up to 3,755 tonnes of sustainably sourced cobalt metal cut cathodes produced at Nikkleverk, Glencore's Norwegian operations. Glencore is also one of the PIPE investors contributing equity in connection with the proposed business combination with Alussa Energy. Previously, FREYR announced non-binding memoranda of understanding with companies such as Elkem Carbon AS, Maersk Norge AS, ITOCHU Corporation and Sumisho Metalex Corporation.
Strengthened leadership team and initiated expansion of wider organization
In parallel to the operational developments, FREYR is accelerating the organisational build-up to expand execution capabilities and capacity following establishment of the leadership team in early 2021. This was led by the appointment of Jan Arve Haugan, an international energy sector and technology-driven industry veteran, as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO; Hege Marie Norheim, a seasoned professional and leader within stakeholder relations and sustainability, as Executive Vice President, Human Re