The world’s largest hydrogen conglomerate plans to invest £250m in the UK over the next 12 months to target growth opportunities in the transport sector, in a major boost for the country’s net zero efforts, City A.M. has learned.
Australian-headquartered United H2 Limited (UHL) is looking to fund more hydrogen-related startups in the UK and Europe.
UHL invests in and helps create companies that utilise hydrogen technologies, such as hydrogen cars, trucks, boats and planes – with 37 companies currently on its books.
However, the conglomerate told City A.M. that it is ultimately aiming to list in the US rather than London, determining that the investment climate in North America would bring more value to shareholders than the London Stock Exchange.
It plans to raise funds for a targeted £150m-plus listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange later this year, with an eye to an eventual initial public offering on the Nasdaq.
Richard Allen, chairman of UHL, said that the huge investment opportunities flowing from the US Inflation Reduction Act, with up to £293bn ($369bn) in green subsidies on offer, meant North America was particularly appealing.
“Given this, we believe these favourable business conditions create a strong market capitalisation outlook for UHL in the region, which is why we are pursuing listings in these markets,” Allen said.
However, he said UHL was still “very open” to London, hinting that its listing plans could change.
“If an opportunity arose on the London Stock Exchange that would deliver more value for shareholders, we would definitely consider changing course,” he said.
News of the firm’s listing plans comes as the London’s market chiefs and City regulators scramble streamline the listing regime amid fears of an exodus of companies away from the capital towards New York.
The government is targeting 10GW of hydrogen generation in the UK, as part of its energy security strategy by the end of the decade, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is currently home to less than 1GW of hydrogen production.