Shell USA Inc. and electric vehicle company Volta Inc. announced a definitive merger agreement under which Shell will acquire Volta in a $169 million all-cash transaction, according to a press release on Jan. 18.

San Francisco-based Volta brings an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stalls in construction or evaluation, an established position in the seismic EV charging market and Volta Media Network capabilities.

Through the acquisition, Shell hopes to incorporate Volta's established EV charging and media network into its brand and expand EV charging opportunities.

"The shift to e-mobility is unstoppable, and Shell recognizes Volta's industry-leading dual charging and media model delivers a public charging offering that is affordable, reliable, and accessible," Volta interim CEO Vince Cubbage commented in the release.

Upon completion of the merger, Shell will acquire all outstanding shares of Volta's Class A common stock for $0.86/share in cash, equating to an approximate 18% premium to the closing price of the company's stock on Jan. 17, 2023.

Subject to approval from Volta's stockholders and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close within the first half of 2023. It has already been approved by the company's board of directors.

UBS Securities LLC and Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP are serving as Shell's financial and legal advisors, respectively. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. are serving as Volta's advisors, while Shearman & Sterling LLP is serving as its legal advisor.

"While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta's ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited," Cubbage continued. "This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward."