Stock Take 08/06/2021

Renault and Plug Power join forces

Many industry observers see hydrogen as the power-train of the future. This has prompted French carmaker Renault to form a joint venture with Plug Power, the world leader in turnkey hydrogen solutions. Announced at the start of the year, Renault and Plug Power have now put their plans into action and formed a joint venture.

The name of the joint venture, which is owned equally by the two partners, is “HYVIA”, which is composed of “HY” for hydrogen and the Latin word “VIA”, which means “road”. The name says it all because both companies see “HYVIA” as “a new path towards low-carbon mobility”.

In concrete terms, HYVIA will be responsible for “the development and introduction of turnkey hydrogen mobility solutions in the sense of a complete ecosystem”, according to an official Renault press release. Therefore, the focus is on light commercial vehicles with fuel cell drive, charging stations, and the supply of regeneratively produced hydrogen. In addition, the joint venture will also address the maintenance and management of vehicle fleets.

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The timetable seems to be tight: the first three fuel cell vehicles, which are to be based on the Renault Master, will be launched in Europe as early as the end of 2021. Renault already has E-TECH technology, which is to be complemented by HYVIA’s integrated hydrogen technology. In this context, the carmaker hopes to extend the vehicle’s range to 500 kilometres and reduce the charging time to three minutes. According to Renault, hydrogen fuel cells are the “appropriate energy solution” to solve the range and refuelling time problem, especially in the light commercial vehicle sector.

For Renault boss Luca de Meo, HYVIA is not just a way to strengthen operations. “As a pioneer in new energies and European leader in light electric commercial vehicles, Renault Group’s objective in creating HYVIA is to have the greenest mix on the market by 2030. This joint venture uniquely integrates the entire hydrogen mobility ecosystem, from vehicles to infrastructure and turnkey services for customers. Furthermore, the development of this pioneering technology will allow us to strengthen our industrial base and build new value-creating activities in France in this promising segment,” the CEO is quoted as saying in the press release.

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Samsung focuses on Europe

The South Korean technology group is betting on Europe in its network equipment business. Samsung is counting on orders for 5G deployment in Europe, said Woojune Kim, the manager in charge. There are currently 5G trial runs with Deutsche Telekom in the Czech Republic and Play Communications in Poland.

In contrast to the chip and smartphone business, Samsung’s network division is comparatively small. According to Dell’Oro market researchers, the South Koreans come fifth behind Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE. Recently, Samsung won a mega-contract from Verizon and scored points with its Ran technology.

British American Tobacco raises forecast

Tobacco group British American Tobacco is becoming more confident for the entire year. The company, which owns brands such as Lucky Strike, Dunhill and Camel, has raised its sales outlook for 2021. British American Tobacco now expects to grow sales by more than 5 per cent at constant exchange rates in 2021. The previous forecast had been for growth of between 3 and 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the group’s duty-free and travel retail business is still causing problems due to the Corona pandemic. This business, called travel retail, is not expected to recover before 2022.

The group expects accelerated growth in the current year, especially in the business BAT dubs “New Category”, which includes the e-cigarette business. It is expected to become profitable in 2025 and reach sales of £5 billion in that year.

On the London Stock Exchange, BAT shares were up 1.16 per cent at GBP 27.85.

ABOUT YOU about to go public

The online fashion retailer ABOUT YOU has set the price range for its planned IPO at 21 to 26 euros per share. The private placement on the Frankfurt trading floor is expected to place 28.6 million new shares from a capital increase plus up to 8.4 million existing notes from previous owners, the company announced in Hamburg on Tuesday. This includes a possible greenshoe option. If this so-called greenshoe option is fully exercised, the total offer would be between 776 and 941 million euros. The existing shareholders also include the Hamburg-based mail-order giant Otto.

The middle of the price range corresponds to a market capitalisation for ABOUT YOU of around four billion euros, the company said. The free float is expected to be between 21.2 and 21.7 per cent of the outstanding share capital.

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As already announced, ABOUT YOU is aiming for minimum gross proceeds of 600 million euros from the new shares in the IPO, it added. The money is to be used to expand the company further, but the proceeds could also be used for investments in technology. The offering period of the private placement, in which only institutional investors can buy shares, will start this Tuesday (8 June) and is expected to end next Monday (14 June), it said. ABOUT YOU named Wednesday, 16 June as the first trading day.

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