Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya invests big in climate change

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya

Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya announced on Tuesday that he just made his “biggest investment in climate change.”

In a tweet, Palihapitiya mentioned that he led a $415 million Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) in the merger deal between ArcLight Clean Transition Corp (NASDAQ: ACTC) and Proterra, a leader in commercial electric vehicle technology. 

ArcLight is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focused on market leading companies that facilitate the decarbonization of industrial,
government and consumer segments.

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Daimler Trucks, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, and BlackRock were part of the PIPE led by Palihapitita.

The merger transaction represents a $1.6 billion enterprise value for Proterra, which will  become a publicly-listed company. Proterra will be trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol PTRA.

The electric buse manufacturer will receive up $825 million in cash to fund its growth. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year.

On the other hand, Proterra Chairman and CEO Jack Allen said the merger will drive more growth opportunities. “This transaction enables Proterra to take the next step towards our mission of advancing EV technology to deliver the world’s best performing commercial vehicles. Besides, it introduces a partner in ArcLight that has a shared focus on sustainability and renewable energy.”

Chamath Palihapitiya says world’s richest person should fight for climate change

Palihapitiya is famous for being a climate change advocate. In an interview with CNBC last Thursday, he commented about Elon Musk becoming the richest person in the world. 

He said, “It’s really incredible actually. He’s somebody I’ve known for really a long time. I’ve looked up to him for a long time…He built the great car company…Five or six years ago, what I thought he was building was an energy company and eventually people would realize that climate change actually mattered. ” 

Palihapitiya added, It has taken five or six years before everybody to realize the same thing and he is being rewarded. The world’s richest person should be somebody that’s fixing and fighting climate change.”  

Furthermore, he believes that the person who will become the first trillionaire is the one who is fighting climate change. That person could be Elon Musk or someone like him who “delivers clean energy, allowing the world to be sustainable.”

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