Britain’s biggest provider of infrastructure to the electric vehicle market is plotting a £170m bid to charge on to the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Sky News has learnt that Chargemaster, which was founded a decade ago and claims to have a 50% share of the fast-growing sector, is targeting a flotation in June.
The company has appointed Cenkos Securities, the stockbroker, to oversee the initial public offering (IPO), from which it wants to raise £50m by selling new shares to investors.
Sources close to Chargemaster’s plans said it was seeking a pre-fundraising valuation of £120m, meaning that it would be worth £170m at the point of its flotation.
The company, which is privately owned, has partnerships with car manufacturers including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Nissan, Renault and Tesla, the electric vehicle group founded by technology billionaire Elon Musk.
In total, Chargemaster has installed more than 6,500 public charging points across the country and boasts 40,000 users – a figure that it wants to increase tenfold within four years.
Image: Chargemaster has more than 6,500 charging points across the UK
It also makes and installs the devices for private and corporate customers, with major clients including Asda, Holiday Inn, Tesco, Waitrose, Whitbread and dozens of local authorities.
Chargemaster estimates that the number of electric vehicles in the UK, which stands at 110,000, will reach 1m no later than 2022, according to marketing materials circulated by the company.
The company is run by David Martell, who set it up in 2008 after launching, and then floating, Trafficmaster, the traffic-sensing and satnav group.
His stake would be worth tens of millions of pounds after a successful stock market listing, although he is understood to remain firmly committed to growing the business.
Existing backers include Helium, a Swiss investment fund, while BMW is also reported to be a small shareholder.
A combination of Government policy and changing consumer demands means that ministers want all new car sales to be ‘plug-in’ vehicles by 2040.
They also expect half of new cars, or about 1.4m annually, to be electric by 2027.
Chargemaster also wants to expand internationally through its tie-ups with manufacturers such as JLR.
Analysts say that electric vehicles should comprise one-third of the entire global fleet of cars by 2040 – underlining the huge demand for infrastructure to support the new technology.
The company expects its turnover to nearly double this year to £25m, buoyed by partnerships with companies including the AA and BT Group.
It has also signed a contract with Transport for London to install 58 rapid chargers in the capital, with recent acquisitions of Elektromotive and Charge Your Car underpinning its market position.
Chargemaster has sought to burnish its image by striking a deal to be the official infrastructure partner to the Formula E electric car-racing series.
It wants to add a further 2,000 charging points to its UK network – called POLAR – within 18 months.
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According to insiders, Chargemaster believes it can grow revenues to £146m by 2021, generating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of more than £37m.
A spokesman for Chargemaster declined to comment on Tuesday, while Cenkos also declined to comment.