Crown LNG Holdings, which develops liquefied natural gas terminals to operate in harsh weather conditions, on Thursday agreed to go public in New York through a merger with a blank check firm, in a deal that values the combined company at $685 million.
Crown will combine with Catcha Investment Corp CHAA.A, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by the investment firm of tech entrepreneurs Patrick Grove and Luke Elliott, the two companies said in a statement seen by Reuters.
Catcha Investment Corp raised $275 million through its initial public offering in February 2021. Once the deal is completed, Crown will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Oslo-based Crown is developing two infrastructure projects in India and Scotland. The company plans to use the proceeds from the SPAC deal to fund both to final investment decision (FID), while expanding into new markets including Vietnam and Canada, Chief Executive Swapan Kataria said.
Crown’s terminals deploy a gravity-based structure that utilizes a large concrete construct, which sits on the seabed and houses storage tanks and infrastructure for the importing or exporting of LNG.
Being offshore makes Crown’s terminals cheaper and easier to operate than land-based LNG infrastructure, the company said. Crown’s terminals are located at fixed offshore points, which makes it easier for ships carrying the supercooled fuel to dock in harsh weather, as opposed to floating LNG terminals that can get displaced in rough seas.
Founded in 1999 by Grove and Elliott, Catcha Group has invested in several technology and media companies in Southeast Asia and Australia. The investment in Crown marks Catcha’s first bet in the energy sector.
Grove said Catcha decided to back Crown because its business could help bring LNG to markets that have previously been overlooked by existing operators, while accelerating the replacement of coal as a fuel for power generation.