Chevron picks Noble in biggest U.S. energy deal since the oil crash

Chevron said on Monday it would buy Noble Energy in a $5 billion all-stock deal, bolstering its shale presence as a plunge in crude prices have made assets cheaper.

The deal, the largest in the U.S. energy sector this year, comes more than a year after Chevron abandoned its offer for Anadarko Petroleum, outmaneuvered by Occidental Petroleum’s higher bid.

Oil prices plunged to historic lows in April as the coronavirus crisis decimated demand. While prices have recovered from their lows, they remain depressed, making assets cheaper, as a new surge of Covid-19 cases threaten to stall recovery.

The deal will also give Chevron access to Noble’s flagship Leviathan field, the largest natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean, which began producing natural gas late last year.

Shares of Noble jumped about 8% premarket, while Chevron was down about 1%.

The offer values Noble at $10.38 a share or 0.12 Chevron share, a 7.5% premium to ...

July 22, 2020

Rivian raises $2.5 billion ahead of launch of electric pickup and SUV

EV startup Rivian has raised $2.5 billion, bringing its total funding to date to around $6 billion ahead of the launch of its all-electric pickup truck and SUV in early 2021. $5.35 billion of that has come in the last year and a half alone, with Rivian scooping up big investments from Ford, Amazon, and Cox Automotive in 2019.

The new funding comes from Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue (a hedge fund), Fidelity Management and Research Company, and investment firm Baron Capital Group. Amazon and another previous investor, BlackRock, also participated in the funding round, which was advised by T. Rowe Price.

The huge influx of money helps further establish Rivian’s position as what is likely the most well-capitalized EV startup in the world. It will also bolster the company’s massive growth, as it has already opened up a half-dozen offices in and outside of the US and hired around 2,400 people.  ...

July 17, 2020

Replacing coal with clean energy can save up to $141 billion by 2025

Replacing coal with clean energy can potentially save electricity customers around the world $141 billion by 2025, according to a report by US-based Rocky Mountain Institute launched in collaboration with Carbon Tracker Initiative and the US-based environmental organisation Sierra Club.

"Replacing uncompetitive coal with clean energy could already save electricity customers around the world $39 billion in 2020, and these annual savings rise quickly to $86 billion in 2022 and $141 billion in 2025," said the report, adding out of 2,500 coal plants, the share of uncompetitive coal plants worldwide will increase rapidly to 60 per cent in 2022 and to 73 per cent in 2025.

Replacing coal with renewables and storage hybrid systems addresses capacity concerns that might arise from replacement with only variable wind or solar power. The cost competitiveness of coal varies by region and is projected to shift significantly over the next five years as both renewable generation ...

July 13, 2020

Berlin-based digital banking startup Penta raises additional €4 million, closes Series B at €22.5 million

Penta, a Berlin-based digital platform for business banking, has raised an additional €4 million from new investors S7V, Presight Capital and two family offices. The round finalises the German startup’s Series B, adding to the first closing of €18.5 million raised in March this year. 

“With the new capital, we plan to accelerate our growth path in Germany and continue developing our product offering for SMEs,” says CEO Marko Wenthin.

With Penta, companies can apply for a business account and receive a German IBAN, debit cards for expense management and other financial services. Founded in 2016, the startup is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Milan and Belgrade. The fintech company also raised over €8 million in August 2019.


July 8, 2020

Stem Cell Reprogramming Company Bit Bio Rakes in $41.5 Million in Series A

U.K.-based Bit Bio, a spinout of Cambridge University and previously known as Elpis Biotechnology, secured $41.5 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to support the company’s goal to transition biology into engineering.

Founded by stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon Mark Kotter, Bit Bio aims to commercialize Opti-OX, a proprietary technology platform for the efficient and consistent reprogramming of human cells for use in research, drug discovery, and cell therapy. Bit Bio’s aim is to decode “cellular identity” in order to generate every cell type of the human body. Through the Opti-Ox platform, stem cells are reprogrammed in order to take on a new identity. The cells then become specialized cells, such as those in the liver, brain or immune system. With its platform, Bit Bio said it is already able to produce human cells at unmatched scale, speed and consistency.

Recent successes in cell therapy sparked new ...

July 3, 2020

BP sells petrochemicals business to Ineos for $5 billion

BP is selling its petrochemicals arm to Ineos for $5 billion as part of the fossil fuel giant’s efforts to reposition itself as a more sustainable energy company.

The deal announced Monday achieved BP’s goal of dumping $15 billion in assets a year ahead of schedule. BP decided to sell the business — which makes chemicals used in plastics, paints and pharmaceuticals — because it would have been expensive to grow and had limited overlap with the rest of the company, according to chief executive Bernard Looney.

“As we work to build a more focused, more integrated BP, we have other opportunities that are more aligned with our future direction,” Looney said in a statement. “Today’s agreement is another deliberate step in building a BP that can compete and succeed through the energy transition.”

The businesses being sold have more than 1,700 employees who are expected to transfer to Ineos once the deal ...

June 29, 2020

Amazon Unveils Plan for $2 Billion Green Tech Venture-Capital Fund unveiled the Climate Pledge fund, a pool of $2 billion targeted at investing in companies working on “sustainable technologies and services” that will help the e-commerce giant and others to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Amazon said the fund will invest in companies in multiple industries, with an initial focus on “transportation and logistics; energy generation, storage, and utilization; manufacturing and materials; circular economy; and food and agriculture.”

The company said the fund will consider companies “of all sizes and stages…from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises looking to scale.” Amazon (ticker: AMZN) said the global fund will look at investing in companies developing goods or services that reduce carbon emissions and help preserve nature.

Amazon didn’t give a time frame for the planned $2 billion investment. The company said that over time, it will “look for opportunities to involve other Climate Pledge signatories” in the fund. Other signatories so far include Verizon, ...

June 24, 2020

Germany plans to promote ‘green’ hydrogen with €7 billion

The German government adopted its national hydrogen strategy on 10 June, with plans to ramp up production capacity to 5 GW by 2030 and 10 GW by 2040. To achieve this, €7 billion will be invested in new businesses and research. EURACTIV Germany reports.

When he presented Germany’s hydrogen strategy in Berlin, economy minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) called the 28-page document the “greatest innovation since the EEG”, a reference to the landmark German renewable energy sources act which came into force in 2000.

With this “quantum leap,” Germany wants to become the world leader in hydrogen technologies, added Altmaier, who was speaking alongside three other ministers.

This is the first time that Germany has set itself quantitative targets for the production of hydrogen.

By 2030, Germany aims to have generators with a total capacity of up to 5 GW, which corresponds to hydrogen generation of about 14TWh. By 2040, capacity should be increased to ...

June 19, 2020

Poland's PGNiG plans USD-1bn investment in new renewables division

Polish state-run oil and gas major Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (WSE:PGN), better known as PGNiG, plans to spend as much as PLN 4 billion (USD 1bn/EUR 894m) on the creation of a dedicated renewable energy division.

The move is planned as part of an updated strategy for the entire group that should be presented by the end of 2020. PGNiG hopes to invest the above-mentioned sum over the next few years, beyond 2022, to achieve a renewable energy production capacity of up to 900 MW.

According to Arkadiusz Sekscinski, Vice President of the PGNiG Management Board, Development, the group is mostly keen on investing in wind power and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects.

PGNiG pointed out that the first decisions regarding renewable energy investments could be made even before the release of the updated group strategy.

/Source: Renewables Now/

June 15, 2020

France Creates Fund to Protect Tech Startups from Takeovers

France is creating a fund to protect home-grown technology companies that may become “prey” for foreign buyers, adding the vehicle to its bailout package for startups.

The Finance Ministry has created an initial 150 million euro ($170 million) fund through state-backed lender Bpifrance Financement SA to invest in local companies if they’re approached by an unsolicited foreign investor, it said in a statement on Friday. The government may increase the fund to 500 million euros from early next year.

Read more: France to Boost Tech Bailout Package as Investors Pull Out

The new funding vehicle is part of an upgraded bailout package for the technology industry as France attempts to counteract an investor retreat. A series of financial measures were set up in late March to keep innovative companies afloat, part of a bigger 300 billion-euro package of state-guaranteed loans from the Finance Ministry, Bpifrance and the French Banking Federation.

France is also adding ...

June 5, 2020