Convalt Energy looks to be publicly traded

·3 min read

Aug. 31—WATERTOWN — Convalt Energy, the company planning to construct a 300,000-square-foot solar panel manufacturing plant in the town of Hounsfield, is teaming up with a California company to help it go public.

In a joint news release Tuesday, Convalt announced it is joining forces with GigInternational1, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company — known as a SPAC — to enter into a non-binding "business combination" to help the energy company become publicly traded.

Hari Achuthan, founder, chairman and CEO of Convalt, said the agreement will help Convalt fulfill its "core mission" to deliver clean and affordable energy to consumers and create jobs in New York and Maine.

"This combination and partnership with GigInternational1 will allow us to further deliver on our mission, accelerate our growth, and provide significant shareholder value as a public company," he said.

Convalt plans to produce solar panels in the factory near the Watertown International Airport on Route 12F. The company expects the plant to be operational in the third quarter of 2023.

David J. Zembiec, CEO of Jefferson County Economic Development, said that GigInternational1 has the ability to inject an infusion of cash that Convalt would use for its future expansion. It sees Convalt as "an emerging company," he said.

The agreement would not be finalized until early 2023, he said.

According to the New York Stock Exchange, SPACs allow targeted companies to have publicly listed stock. Filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that GigInternational1, Palo Alto, Calif., consummated an initial public offering in May 2021 for 20 million of its shares at $10 per share, resulting in the generation of $200 million in gross proceeds. Its stock is traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market, or the NASDAQ.

Convalt will represent the first business with which it will combine, according to SEC filings.

Raluca Dinu, GigCapital's founding managing partner and CEO of GigInternational1, said Convalt represents a timely investment opportunity in the development of clean energy in the United States.

"We are incredibly excited about Convalt's purpose and mission, proven track record and global growth opportunity and becoming a top tier vertically integrated renewable power company," she said. "We look forward to supporting their transition to a public company and beyond."

As Convalt works to go public, the company also is waiting to hear about a $25 million loan from X-Caliber Capital, an Irvington, Westchester County, bank that provides financing for rural businesses through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, Mr. Zembiec said.

The company hopes to hear about the loan by Oct. 1 and then break ground later that month on the plant's construction. The manufacturing plant would create about 400 jobs. A second manufacturing plant is in the works at the airport site.

To get ready for operations, Convalt moved all of the equipment from a defunct solar manufacturing plant in Oregon.

Convalt is a vertically integrated renewable energy company in the business of manufacturing solar panels, generating renewable power at company-owned power generation facilities, and providing engineering and construction services including solar panel recycling for renewable energy projects.

The Watertown facility would sell its solar panels to utility, commercial and residential solar customers in the U.S. and abroad. The company also is setting up a solar panel recycling facility in East Millinocket, Maine, while developing community and utility scale projects in Maine and New York.