Decarbonisation and green hydrogen leader Haffner Energy has successfully raised €74.4 million through its recent IPO, one of the first stock launches of 2022 in Europe.
The family-owned business based in Vitry-le-François, France, has 28 years of experience in providing engineering, procurement, construction and construction management solutions for global biomass-to-energy projects.
In 2021, Haffner Energy sought guidance to help shape and manage the company’s ambitious IPO. Barclays’ Investment Banking team was keen to ensure that when it went public, the market viewed it as more than simply another post-COP26 green energy deal.
Barclays’ Equity Capital Markets team partnered closely with its Sustainability & Impact Investment Banking team and Haffner Energy executives to align the company’s equity story around its unique modular carbon sequestration technology, HYNOCA®, which converts sustainable biomass into carbon-negative green hydrogen.
HYNOCA® is a powerful decarbonisation technology that produces biochar as a by-product of biomass thermolysis. Biochar is a highly effective permanent carbon sink and natural fertiliser. For every 1 tonne of hydrogen produced by a HYNOCA® module, 5.5 tonnes of biochar is produced, which is equivalent to the sequestration of nearly 12k tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). The process is protected by 15 patent families and is already in operation with a commercial scale module delivered in Strasbourg in 2021.
” For the Haffner management team, Barclays was instrumental in repositioning the company’s equity story from a green hydrogen solution provider to a decarbonisation solutions provider. Barclays’ input was instrumental given their sector and Equity Markets knowledge, their international positioning and their belief in the power of the technology and team.” Marcella Franchi, CMO, Haffner Energy
Barclays acted as Joint Global Coordinator on the transaction. Despite challenging conditions, with significant equity market volatility, the IPO was a notable success.
The IPO consisted of a primary sale of c.€66.7 million, to finance the commercial and industrial development of Haffner Energy, as well as investments in R&D and partnership projects, alongside a secondary tranche of c.€5.0 million largely backed by industrial players and tier-one financial investors with deep knowledge and experience of the energy transition sector.
“The IPO provided the capital to accelerate our ambitious strategy. With the proceeds we plan to rapidly set up a large-scale assembly facility for our standardised HYONCA® module, internationalise our commercial deployment to be as close as possible to our customers in each continent.” Philippe Haffner, CEO, Haffner Energy
The transaction was also significant for being one of the first launches to price in Europe in 2022, and Barclays’ first IPO in France this year.
“Despite the strong volatility and market backdrop in January/February 2022, Haffner Energy is one of the very few companies that managed to attract equity investor interest due to the uniqueness of the HYNOCA® technology, the clear ESG profile of the business and the strong management team.” Hugues Desportes, Head of Equity Solutions France, BeLux and Iberia, Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank
“Barclays is proud to have supported Haffner Energy in the early stages of its growth journey. Green hydrogen is a key enabling fuel for the energy transition, and the decarbonising and innovative HYNOCA® technology is a game-changing solution for hydrogen consumers bringing forward the green hydrogen economy.” May Jaramillo, Head of European Sustainable & Impact Banking, Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank
The success of this IPO signals that while investors remain focused on the shift towards a low-carbon economy, they are particularly attracted to innovation that can drive sustainable change and have potential applications across sectors.