Ares Acquisition Corporation (AAC) Tweaks X-energy Deal
by Nicholas Alan Clayton on 2023-06-12 at 7:59am

Ares Acquisition Corporation (NYSE:AAC) has dropped its pre-money valuation of its target company X-energy about -14.2% as a part of a deal revision announced this morning.

The parties noted they believe that bringing down X-energy’s price tag from $2.1 billion to $1.8 billion will provide a more attractive entry point for investors and provide a better opportunity for long-term value creation.

X-energy shareholders still stand to earn up to 25,000,000 shares in an earnout if it hits price hurdles of $12.50 and $15 post-close. And, the changes may also make further fundraising efforts easier.

The two sides also provided an update this morning that they have secured $148 million in committed financing to date, which goes well beyond the $45 million PIPE that Ares declared at announcement and also clears the transaction’s $120 million minimum cash condition.

But, the company looks like it is going to need the extra cash. X-energy has developed technology for small modular nuclear reactors and has been developing plans to deploy its first major project at a Dow (NYSE:DOW) plant in Texas.

It now estimates that this project will cost between $4.75 billion and $5.75 billion to complete and X-energy will be on the hook for 15% to 17.5% of this amount. At the high end, this would mean a little over $1 billion, but the company expects to generate about $2.35 billion from the facility over the life of the plant.

That capex also includes the construction of a facility to manufacture its proprietary TRISO-X nuclear fuel, which would set it up to continue the business model with other projects.

For now, the company is continuing to refine its plans ahead of its submission of an ARDP construction permit with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The parties initially announced the deal in December.

 

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