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LI 'blank-check company' to take vehicle charger maker Wallbox public

Justin Mirro, CEO of Kensington Capital, purchased a

Justin Mirro, CEO of Kensington Capital, purchased a Mustang Mach-e and had a Wallbox Pulsar Plus 40-amp charging station installed at his Great Neck home. Credit: Justin Mirro / Kensington Capital

A Long Island company is taking a European maker of charging stations public in its second deal centered on the electric-vehicle market.

Westbury-based Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. II, a so-called "blank-check company," raised about $330 million for charger maker Wallbox through the merger announced in June.

Once the deal closes, Barcelona-based Wallbox will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "WBX."

Kensington's team of former auto industry and investment banking executives previously took electric vehicle battery maker QuantumScape Corp. public in a high-profile SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company) transaction in November 2020. Volkswagen AG is among the funders of QuantumScape's research into next-generation vehicle batteries.

A SPAC, or blank-check company, is a shell company that searches for a merger partner to bring to the public markets.

SPAC deals typically can take a company public faster than through a traditional initial public offering.

Justin Mirro, chairman and chief executive of Kensington, said that he bought an electric Mustang Mach-E in March and evaluated about a dozen charging stations at his Great Neck home before closing the deal with Wallbox.

"Wallbox is the only company in the world that has a focus on home and business," he said, and plans to build a U.S. manufacturing facility financed in part by the $330 million SPAC deal.

Wallbox plans to supply a growing market for home and public charging stations, but faces competition from rivals including ChargePoint Inc., Blink Charging Co. and EVgo Services, which went public in a SPAC deal earlier this month.

"Mass market adoption of electric vehicles is here, and with this comes a need for significant expansion of charging infrastructure, starting at the home," Enric Asuncion, chief exectuve of Wallbox, said in a statement.

Mitchell O. Goldberg, president of ClientFirst Strategy Inc., a Melville investment firm, cautioned that many SPAC deals should be reserved for "the more aggressive part of one's portfolio if at all."

One issue, he said, is that a wave SPAC financing is chasing after a limited number of private companies that have the most promise.

"There's so much money chasing deals," he said.

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