Nomura hires two bankers for clean transport technology deals

NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) – Japanese investment bank Nomura (8604.T) has hired two investment bankers to lead its coverage of mobility and automotive clients in Europe and the United States through its sustainability-focused Greentech division.

Former self-driving truck company executive Richard Hawwa started in San Francisco last week, and Alex Bleck will move to lead the bank’s team in Frankfurt from his previous role at Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) in July, a spokesman said.

Nomura hopes to capitalise on consolidation among incumbent vehicle and equipment makers and new companies that have proliferated in recent years, some of them funded by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) which took Wall Street by storm in 2021.

“You saw in the “de-SPAC” furore a lot of standalone young electric vehicle companies raise capital. The reality is the path to success and scale … is dramatically complex,” Duncan Williams, global co-head of Nomura Greentech, told Reuters.

“I think we are increasingly likely to see those companies … being acquired by bigger businesses or potentially merging with one another,” Williams added.

Williams pointed to tyre group Bridgestone Corp’s (5108.T) $391 million purchase of software firm Azuga Holdings as an example of a deal he expects to see more of as industry suppliers look to control more of the value chain.

Tesla (TSLA.O) has branched out even further and now offers home and commercial energy systems.

Producers of low-emission vehicles and equipment are due a boost from hefty subsidies in many countries, but EV startups such as luxury sedan maker Lucid (LCID.O) and truck maker Nikola (NKLA.O) face a cash crunch as higher borrowing costs and fears of a recession sour consumer sentiment.

Traditional automakers have launched lower-priced electric models and Tesla has discounted sharply, sparking a price war in the industry.

Investment banks in Europe and the United States raked in more than $700 million in fees for deals in high-tech mobility and transportation in the 2021 boom year, Williams said, adding he expected potential annual fees to remain high.

“Going forward … there will be continuity around $300 million plus of fees to (Wall) Street and obviously we are looking to build a material share around that,” he said.

Reporting by Isla Binnie in New York
Editing by Greg Roumeliotis

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