Oil giant Shell makes grand entrance into electrical vehicles market

24 October 2017 Consultancy.uk 5 min. read
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Shell has taken a large step into the world of electric vehicles, with the purchase of NewMotion. The charge-point provider, who were advised by three M&A and law firms, currently provides more than 50,000 public charge points for drivers across 25 European countries.

Shell has signed an agreement to buy NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging providers, as the international fuel titan prepares for an increasingly electrified market. The deal will also enable both companies to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon transport model. Shell is one of the world’s largest energy providers, and the UK’s most valuable brand.

While Shell remains in a healthy financial state, however, the global oil industry has been stung by falling commodity prices. Oil is presently expected to remain as the highest demand fuel until at least 2035, however, improving fuel efficiency technologies, coupled with the rise of renewable energy, have still seen demand hit as a result. Meanwhile, in the UK, the planned ban for the sale of combustion engine powered vehicles by 2040 is set to further impact on oil prices – with diesel sales taking a 20% nosedive in the month of July, when the government’s proposals were announced.

Oil giant Shell makes grand entrance into electrical vehicles market

With electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids set to take the place of the formerly petrol/diesel fuelled automotive industry, diversification into the broader energy industry has become essential for long-term market incumbents looking to avoid being bypassed by disruption. With the cementing of the NewMotion deal, the oil magnates have moved toward achieving that. Under the terms of the deal, NewMotion will remain focused on accelerating its mission in Europe to deliver more innovative smart-charging solutions to homes, businesses and public parking spaces. Upgrading infrastructure is a key concern for governments looking to push their populations to adopt EVs, and beyond the home, the Highways Agency has had to commit to a £15 million infrastructure programme designed to ensure that drivers are never more than 20 miles from a charging point on the UK’s A roads. The acquisition will give NewMotion a vital shot in the arm, enabling them to tap into this demand with the enhancement of its EV charging services, turning more parking spaces into charging stations as well as improving users’ charging experience across Europe.

Based in Amsterdam, NewMotion was launched in 2009 by a group of entrepreneurs who made it their mission to contribute to a cleaner world. Today, NewMotion operates more than 30,000 electric charge posts in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK. It also provides access to a network of more than 50,000 public charge points across 25 European countries, serving more than 100,000 registered charge cards.

Sytse Zuidema, CEO of NewMotion, extolled the virtues of Shell, as he stated, “We are very pleased to have such a strong investor that fully supports our mission, enabling us to further expand across Europe at a time when the transition to electric vehicles is gathering pace. We are excited that our ongoing mission and belief in a transition towards less-polluting transport source has been endorsed so strongly by Shell, one of the world’s leading energy companies.”

Quote Sytse Zuidema

Shell’s Vice President for New Fuels, Matthew Tipper, added, “Today’s announcement is an early step towards ensuring customers can access a range of refuelling choices over the coming decades, as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport fuels. This move provides customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go. When you add this customer offer to our current roll out of fast charging points on Shell forecourts, we believe we are developing the full raft of charge solutions required to support the future of EVs.”


Dealmakers involved in the deal on the buyer’s side were Shell’s own in-house legal, commercial due diligence and transaction support departments, while NewMotion was advised by three M&A parties in their Amsterdam HQ. Two Dutch law firms assessed the agreement on the seller’s end, with Vriman M&A Lawyers examining the target’s legal standing in the purchase, and Amstone Tax Lawyers examining their fiscal footing, while the Dutch arm of consulting firm Drake Star Partners (which operates locally as Improved Corporate Finance) acted as the exclusive financial advisor to NewMotion’s shareholders throughout the transaction. The Drake Star Partners team was made up of Frank Verbeek, Sherief Rahim and Bas Hendriks.

Commenting on the acquisition, Frank Verbeek, Managing Partner of Drake Star Partners Netherlands, said, “As part of the Shell New Energies portfolio, NewMotion has a unique opportunity to expand its services to the level of ambition the founders, shareholders, management and staff worked so hard for. We are proud to have played our role in ensuring NewMotion can execute their international strategy… We believe that within the mobility segment, EVs will prove to be an extremely dynamic sector with many more companies looking for opportunities.”