Former Climate Change Secretary Rudd will join £ 250m. In London, SPAC Energy1 | Business news

Amber Rudd, the former cabinet minister, joins a new specialist purchasing firm (SPAC) that will float in London and target a merger in the renewable energy sector.

Sky News has learned that Mrs Rudd, who served as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change between May 2015 and July 2016, will be advising Energy1, one of a long-awaited wave of new UK SPACs.

Bank sources said Energy1 was established by Sanjay Mehta, a start-up investor, and David Kotler, a former Lazard and Morgan Stanley investment banker who now runs Access Corporate Finance, an energy and natural resources advisory firm.

Philip Aiken, chairman of London-listed Aveva and former chairman of Balfour Beatty, is expected to join Energy1’s board, while Sir Peter Gershon, the former National Grid chairman, is in talks to become an adviser to SPAC along with Mrs Rudd, according to the sources.

The new SPAC appears to be raising between £ 250m and £ 300m from investors, they added.

Citi and JP Morgan are believed to have been hired to advise on the listing, with a statement targeted at the end of the year.

Mrs Rudd’s commitment will once again underscore the extent to which former politicians have exploited their careers at Westminster.

In addition to serving as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ms. Rudd spent nearly two years as Home Secretary, resigning from her last cabinet role as Labor and Retirement Secretary in September 2019.

Since retiring before the 2019 general election, she has held advisory roles at Darktrace, the cybersecurity firm that has had one of London’s most successful initial offerings (IPOs) this year, and Pinwheel, a green startup.

The roles were all approved by Whitehall’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), but Mrs Rudd’s new posts no longer require such approval due to the time that has elapsed since she resigned as Minister.

UK MP Amber Rudd is seen in Westminster, London, UK 24 September 2019. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
Rudd resigned as a Member of Parliament before the parliamentary elections in 2019. Photo: REUTERS / Henry Nicholls

This week, Mrs. Rudd left Teneo Advisory, the PR firm, to join FGH, the agency founded by her brother, Roland.

Her role in Energy1 adds significant political experience to a vehicle that holds ambitions to be groundbreaking in a new era of London-listed SPACs.

In July, the Financial Conduct Authority announced new rules aimed at making the UK a more competitive destination for such “blank check” funds, which raise money from investors to acquire an unspecified target.

London has been left behind by New York and to some extent by Amsterdam due to the more liberal framework for enabling SPACs to list, although in the last year there have been signs of significant indigestion in US markets, how many fell sharply within a year of their mergers.

Nevertheless, bankers say there has been a spurt in the number of inquiries from SPAC “sponsors” who want to list in London once the listing reforms have been implemented.

Sky News reported on Friday that a couple of insurance executives plan to list Financials Acquisition Corp on the London Stock Exchange’s standard segment and have received cornerstone commitments from investors, including Qatar Insurance Company and Toscafund.

A sweat of renewable energy-focused SPACs has sought to take advantage of the booming investor demand for companies that can play important roles in the energy transition.

Several leading UK cleantech companies will be showcased at the upcoming Global Investment Summit, while next month’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will be exposed to technology companies and investors.

Tony Hayward, the former BP chief, has listed an SPAC in Amsterdam called Energy Transition Partners to target an agreement in the renewable energy or battery technology sector.

None of those involved in Energy1 could be reached for comment.

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