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Better Place wins $350 million investment

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Sunday, January 24th, 2010

The major funding deal, led by HSBC, is one of the largest ever in cleantech.

Shai Agassi’s electric car venture Better Place has signed a major funding deal, in which a consortium of investors, led by HSBC, will invest $350 million in the venture.
The investment is one of the largest ever in cleantech, and values Better Place at $1.25 billion after money.

New investors in this financing deal include HSBC, which invested $125 million of its own, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Lazard Asset Management. They join existing investors including Israel Corp. (TASE: ILCO), VantagePoint Venture Partners, Ofer Hi-Tech Holdings, Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, and Maniv Energy Capital, among others, as shareholders of Better Place.

The deal represents one of the largest financial investments of its kind by HSBC. , HSBC Head of Global Capital Financing Kevin Adeson will join the Better Place board of directors, and HSBC will own approximately 10% of the venture’s shares.

Adeson said, “We are confident that Better Place has the technical and commercial solutions to allow for the mass adoption of electric cars in the near term. The Better Place switchable battery solution, which addresses the range limitation of fixed battery electric cars, will offer the consumer an affordable and attractive alternative to current combustion engine and hybrid vehicles. We expect the Better Place model to be widely adopted across many countries and cities, particularly in those markets with policies strongly favoring electric vehicle adoption.”