Darren Turgel Managing Director, DirectorsTalk recently caught up with Clive de Larrabeiti, the founder and major shareholder in Pineapple Power Corporation PLC (LON:PNPL) to discuss his views on the London listed SPAC and the renewable and clean energy space.
Pineapple Power Corporation is a UK PLC listed on the Standard Market of the London Stock Exchange under the trading symbol PNPL, as a special purpose acquisition company. The company seeks to acquire a renewable or clean energy company or companies internationally. Clean energy investment worldwide is growing exponentially, it is this significant opportunity which Pineapple Power intends to participate in and augment as a fund-raising vehicle for private renewable energy enterprises wishing to access the international capital markets through a listing on the London Stock Exchange.
DT – Why did you choose to list Pineapple on the LSE?
CDL – To me the London Stock Exchange has always represented the most prestigious and highly regarded of stock exchanges internationally. It is widely recognised as one of the most liquid and well-regulated markets. I was also always of the opinion that subsequent to Brexit the exchange would retain its position as the market of choice in Europe and that London would continue to hold its significant position as one of the financial capitals of the world.
DT – Have you had significant experience in other equity markets?
CDL – I actually became involved in the equity markets when I worked as a private client broker in Vancouver, BC, Canada where I obtained my sales licence back in the eighties. I enjoyed five years there as a commission only salesperson before being offered a position in the City of London with a small Canadian broker who had established an office to introduce exciting Canadian resource companies to retail and institutional clients across Europe. After leaving the City in the early nineties after a very successful career there I actually floated my first cash shell on the Vancouver Stock Exchange. That company successfully acquired an internet software program and was a beneficiary of the dotcom boom which followed. My second venture was a listing on the OTCBB market in the US which we utilised to make acquisitions of resource properties on the African Continent. So, a lot of my prior experience was related to my activities in the North American markets.
DT – Why did you choose renewable energy as your sector of focus for Pineapple?
CDL – Since 2015 I have held the view that renewable energy as an industry and sector held immense potential as a solution to further pollution of the earth’s atmosphere. Since that time, as we are all aware, the industry has exploded in size due to the universal recognition of this fact and the ever-decreasing costs of the solutions to those problems. Technology has also made incredible advances in terms of cost, efficiency and availability and we are now enjoying the prospectivity of more affordable solutions to heating, lighting and mobility which encompass non-polluting clean energy solutions. In order to finance those activities it made sense to me that a listed company with a mandate to focus on that industry would be an attractive target as a short cut to the public markets.
DT – The explosion in SPAC listings in the US has surprised a lot of people although London is way behind on those numbers. Why do you think this is and how does it affect you directly?
CDL – It is certainly true that there has been a realisation that SPACs are a rapid and economical way for a privately held corporation to access the stock exchange through an RTO rather than the much lengthier and costlier process of an initial public offering. This realisation has contributed significantly to the incredible amount of SPAC formations and listings in the US. London was not prepared for this surge of interest and the prospectus and listing rules for SPACs here are rather more complex, at this time. As we now know, the UK FCA and Stock Exchange are now reviewing a process to change the rules to allow a more streamlined process in the RTO transaction phase and dispense with the share trading suspension which accompanies an RTO, in order to make a listing here more attractive.
As far as affecting Pineapple directly these restrictions in the UK market, which made finding investors for cash shell vehicles difficult, have actually put us in an advantageous position as we are one of only four such companies to be listed on the Standard Market segment of the LSE last year. We are now the last remaining cash shell company listed with a focus on clean or renewable energy. This has generated a considerable amount of interest in Pineapple as an investment and has led to a higher level of recognition and also to increased liquidity in our share trading, a benefit to all our shareholders.
DT – How do you see the future for Pineapple Power?
CDL – Very Bright!!! There are many reasons why I am very optimistic for our future. The exclusivity of our position on the London Stock Exchange. The incredible growth that we have all witnessed in the renewable energy sector. The increasing focus of the governments of the world on financing the development of clean energy solutions and reducing global warming. The resurgence of the stock markets internationally, as we recover from the Covid pandemic, which have also benefited from the incredible liquidity injected into the monetary system by governments world-wide, keen to restart their economic growth.
In addition, the focus of the company on the renewable energy sector, the share structure of Pineapple which was purposely formulated in such a way to make any potential transactions simple and straightforward; the composition of the Board and Management – all public market savvy individuals with particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions, public company financing and investor relations activities. These factors all combine to make Pineapple an attractive RTO candidate at this time.
DT – thank you for sharing your views with us!
CDL – my pleasure.