Source: China Economic Herald
According to the "Review and Prospect of China's New Energy Industry M&A Market in the First Half of 2023" report recently released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in the first half of 2023, the number of M&A transactions in China's new energy industry was 395, an increase of 7% over the same period last year, and the disclosed transaction amount reached 137.1 billion yuan.
Zhai Liming, partner in charge of M&A transactions of PwC China's energy, infrastructure and mining industry, said: "In the first half of 2023, China's new energy industry will continue to maintain a high-quality development trend. The deepening and extension, the iterative advancement of technology, and the continuous emergence of new models and new formats further confirm the huge development space and broad prospects of the new energy industry, and continue to drive investment and mergers and acquisitions in related fields to remain hot."
The growth rate of the demand side of the lithium battery industry chain has slowed down, accompanied by fluctuations in the price of raw materials on the supply side, and the maturity of the industry has increased. Trading opportunities are mainly distributed in subdivided tracks. In the first half of the year, the number of mergers and acquisitions exceeded 100, but the amount has declined.
In the first half of 2023, the disclosed transaction value of mergers and acquisitions in the lithium battery industry chain was 52.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of about 50%, and the number of transactions occurred was 105, a decrease of 24%. Although the growth rate of downstream demand for new energy vehicles has slowed down and the price of lithium carbonate in the upstream has fluctuated, the lithium battery sector will still maintain more than 100 transactions in the first half of 2023. However, as the industry matures, transaction opportunities are mainly distributed in The track is subdivided, so the transaction amount declined compared with the same period last year.
The structure of the core links of the industry is stable, and it is expected that leading manufacturers will gradually turn to overseas markets to seek business growth in the future. There are still opportunities to improve the upstream material process of the industry, and cost reduction and efficiency increase will become the focus of the next step. Meanwhile, solid-state batteries and battery recycling will continue to be hot spots.
The demand for energy storage industry and commerce and large-scale energy storage on the source and grid side has maintained high growth. Policy guidance, technological progress and system cost reduction have brought positive trends, and the commercialization and marketization of the industry continue to accelerate.
According to the statistics of the Energy Storage Leaders Alliance (EESA), about 16.35GWh of new energy storage projects in China will be put into operation from January to June 2023, which will bring about increased enthusiasm in the capital market. In the first half of 2023, the disclosed transaction value of energy storage industry mergers and acquisitions was 14.7 billion yuan, an increase of 81% year-on-year, and the number of transactions was 60, an increase of about 150%. New energy storage technologies, especially innovative companies related to sodium-ion batteries, have become the new "gold-absorbing beasts". PE/VC is the main participant in investment and acquisition activities in the energy storage industry, focusing on innovative technology companies and energy storage integrators in the growth stage and start-up stage.
It is expected that the large storage demand on the source-grid side will continue to increase in the future, and the profitability of industrial and commercial energy storage will be further enhanced. With the entry of consumer battery companies into the energy storage battery track and the commercialization of new energy storage technologies, the overall industry structure may change. .
The installed capacity of the wind power and photovoltaic industry chain drives downstream demand, and the maturity of new technologies and the replacement of new and old production capacity jointly drive up the enthusiasm for mergers and acquisitions.
The activity of infrastructure transactions is generally stable, and wind and solar assets are still the main target. The inspection of state subsidies has made the mergers and acquisitions of central state-owned enterprises more cautious.
In the first half of 2023, the disclosed transaction amount in the infrastructure field was 40 billion yuan, which has rebounded from the second half of 2022. The state subsidy inspection since 2022 has made central state-owned enterprises more cautious in the acquisition and acquisition of existing power stations. With the improvement of the profit quality in the era of parity, the superimposed trend of large-scale projects and base-based projects is dominated by the central state-owned enterprise industry and bank insurance. A new wave of wind and solar infrastructure funds with financial institutions such as capital as participants has arrived. On the other hand, at the end of 2022, a number of provinces issued pilot policies for centralized power plant spot trading, further promoting the marketization of power trading. In this context, investors mainly favor provinces with strong demand for power allocation and sufficient peak-shaving capacity. The first echelon structure of midstream development and operation companies for new energy vehicle charging piles has basically taken shape, financing needs and capital attention have declined, and upstream supercharging and fast charging, mobile charging, optical storage charging and other technical links are more favored by capital.
The localization and commercialization of hydrogen energy is advancing to attract new investors, mainly focusing on early-stage projects.
With the frequent landing of hydrogen production projects, the localization trend of equipment and core components and the continuous advancement of the commercialization process, in the first half of 2023, the merger and acquisition transactions of the hydrogen energy track will remain active, and the number of transactions will increase by 21% compared with the first half of 2022, reaching 34 strokes. However, due to the diversification of capital concentration due to the increase in the number of new players, coupled with earlier investment rounds and lower amounts, the disclosed transaction amount in the first half of the year was 1.9 billion yuan, a decrease of about 30% from the same period of the previous year.