X-energy Reactor Co., a developer of small modular reactors, signed a definitive agreement to merge with Ares Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: AAC), a publicly-traded SPAC, to create a New York Stock Exchange company valued at $2 billion, funded with $120 million in additional committed capital.
X-energy, an advanced nuclear developer founded by Kam Ghaffarian in 2009 and based in Rockville, Maryland, is designing next-generation nuclear reactors and fuel. Their high-temperature gas-cooled small modular reactor (SMR), the Xe-100, and its fuel, TRISO-X are engineered to operate as a single 80-MW unit or can be deployed as a four-unit plant for a combined 320 MW of capacity.
In 2020, the company was selected by the US Department of Energy to receive up to $1.2 billion in non-dilutive federal funding as part of the DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. WIth its merger with Ares, anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2023, X-energy will have access to about $1 billion in cash that is in the trust account of Ares Acquisition Corp., assuming no or low redemptions by shareholders. Ontario Power Generation, Segra Capital Management Ares Management are collectively adding another $120 million to the final deal.
This is the second of two advanced nuclear ventures that are going public via a SPAC and gaining access to the public market as a result. There is a very big race among ventures seeking to develop advanced reactors and X-energy’s entry into public markets is expected to accelerate its growth both with the additional financing received and the flexibility provided it by being a public entity.
Read more at UtilityDive: Nuclear SMR developer X-energy to merge with Ares Management-backed SPAC, creating $2B company, by Stephen Singer, published December 7, 2022 and see the press announcement at X-energy’s website, posted December 6, 2022.