Heliogen Inc., a renewable solar energy company based in Pasadena (California), has received a proposal for acquisition from its founder who was recently fired.
Heliogen’s board of directors confirmed that, following the termination of Bill Gross as founder and CEO and his resignation from its board in February due to disagreements regarding the hiring of a replacement CEO, it had received a nonbinding proposal by Continuum Renewables Inc. (co-founded Gross) for the purchase of all outstanding Heliogen shares of common stock at a cash price of 40 cents each.
The proposal states that two of Continuum Renewables largest investors, Idealab Studio LLC (an entity affiliated with Gross) and Prime Movers Lab, hold 26% of Heliogen shares outstanding.
Heliogen's board of directors will consider the proposal before responding. Cooley LLP, a Santa Monica-based law firm, is Heliogen's legal counsel.
According to a company statement, the acquisition would enable Continuum Renewables' renewable energy products to be expanded and its growth to be accelerated.
In a statement, Continuum Renewables' CEO Paul Browning said that Heliogen had a reputation for creating innovative renewable energy solutions. If our proposal is accepted, it would offer the current share price to shareholders at a significant premium. This acquisition is a key step in our growth strategies. We look forward to working with Heliogen's team to create value and recapitalizing Heliogen to become a private company.
The proposed price represents an increase of approximately 60% over Heliogen’s closing share price the day before the announcement. It also represents an increase of approximately 70% above the volume-weighted, unaffected average price of the company over the past month.
Stocks closed around 30 cents Thursday, and nearly 13% more on Friday to close at about 34 cents.
The proposal is non-binding and subject to several contingencies including the financing obtained by Continuum Renewables.
Gross' resignation letter to his board stated that he announced his decision to step aside as CEO in the past year. He recommended an unidentified candidate outside of the company step up into the role president, before moving to CEO six months later. Heliogen's Board of Directors appointed former Heliogen Chief Financial Officer Christie Obiaya to the position, resulting in Gross' less than amicable departure.
Heliogen's new leadership said in a statement regarding the acquisition proposal that they have taken 'aggressive steps to advance its strategic priorities, including increasing sales, installing their first commercial project and improving the financial position of the company.
The renewable energy company Heliogen, which is focused on AI-enabled solar concentrating technology, will open a hydrogen production plant in Lancaster. Heliogen will focus sunlight to produce up to 1,500 tons of green, carbon-free hydrogen per year as steam, heat power, and green fuel. Heliogen also has a R&D facility in Lancaster, which was converted from the former golf center into a testing area.