Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation

Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation

Oct 19, 2020 by Roman Developer


ENTERPRISE VALUE: $2.378 billion

Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation proposes to combine with DeepGreen Metals Inc., a developer of lower-impact battery metals from unattached seafloor polymetallic nodules.

DeepGreen is developing a new, scalable source of EV battery metals in the form of polymetallic nodules found unattached on the seafloor in the Pacific Ocean. The estimated resource on the seafloor in the exploration contract areas held by the company’s subsidiaries is sufficient for 280 million EVs – a quarter of the global passenger car fleet. The development of this resource offers an abundant, low-cost supply of critical raw materials for EV batteries and wiring including nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese, with a lower lifecycle ESG impact than conventional mining.


Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation, which currently holds over US$300 million in trust, will combine with DeepGreen Metals Inc. Upon closing, DeepGreen will be renamed to operate as The Metals Company and is expected to begin trading under the ticker symbol TMC.

  • The transaction reflects a pro forma equity value for TMC of approximately US$2.9 billion (assuming no redemptions) and enterprise value of US$2.4 billion, representing an enterprise value to EBITDA of 1.2x as measured on the company’s estimated 2027 EBITDA of approximately US$2 billion, and a price to net asset value (“NAV”) of 0.35x as measured on the exploration area of the company’s subsidiary, NORI-D, with potential substantial upside as the full resource is developed.
  • The transaction includes an upsized US$330 million fully committed common stock Private Investment in Public Equity (“PIPE”) at US$10.00 per share, anchored by an international consortium of strategic and institutional investors, including Allseas, adding to the list of existing strategic investors such as Maersk Supply Service and Glencore.
  • The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both DeepGreen and SOAC, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 and is subject to the approval of SOAC’s and DeepGreen’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including a registration statement being declared effective by the SEC.
  • The transaction will be implemented by a Plan of Arrangement under the British Columbia Business Corporations Act and is subject to Court approval.
  • The combined company will continue to be led by Gerard Barron, DeepGreen Chairman and CEO. Scott Leonard, CEO of SOAC, will join the board of The Metals Company.

SOAC trans overview


  • An aggregate of 33,030,000 shares of SOAC Common Shares for $10.00 per share, for aggregate gross proceeds of $330,300,000


Sponsor, the Company and each of Rick Gaenzle, Isaac Barchas and Justin Kelly, each of whom is a holder of Class B ordinary shares of SOAC (collectively, the “Insiders”) entered into the Sponsor Letter Agreement (the “Sponsor Letter Agreement”), pursuant to which the Sponsor and the Insiders agreed to:

  • (i) vote in favor of the Business Combination Agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby (including the SOAC Continuance)
  • (ii) waive any adjustment to the conversion ratio set forth in the governing documents of SOAC or any other anti-dilution or similar protection with respect to their Class B ordinary shares (whether resulting from the transactions contemplated by the Subscription Agreements
  • (iii) solely with respect to the Sponsor, subject to and conditioned upon the closing of the Business Combination Agreement and effective as of immediately following the SOAC Continuance, to exchange 741,000 SOAC Class B ordinary shares held by the Sponsor for 741,000 Class J Special Shares in the capital of SOAC and 500,000 Class I Special Shares (the “Sponsor Earnout Shares”) in the capital of SOAC after giving effect to the SOAC Continuance, convertible into SOAC Common Shares and redeemable with their terms,
  • (iv) be bound by certain other covenants and agreements related to the Business Combination and
  • (v) be bound by certain transfer restrictions with respect to his, her or its shares in SOAC prior to the closing of the Business Combination, in each case, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Sponsor Letter Agreement.




  • The aggregate cash proceeds from SOAC’s trust account, together with the proceeds from the PIPE Financing, equaling no less than $250,000,000 (after deducting any amounts paid to SOAC shareholders that exercise their redemption rights in connection with the Business Combination and net of SOAC’s unpaid transaction expenses and SOAC’s unpaid liabilities)


  • By either SOAC or the Company if the Business Combination is not consummated by October 4, 2021


  • Citi is serving as exclusive financial advisor and capital markets advisor to SOAC.
  • Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Nomura Securities International, Inc. and Fearnley Securities Inc. are serving as placement agents on the PIPE offering.
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP are serving as legal advisors to SOAC.
  • Nomura Greentech is serving as exclusive financial advisor to DeepGreen.
  • Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP are serving as legal advisors to DeepGreen.
  • Mayer Brown is acting as legal counsel to the placement agents.


Executive Officers

Scott Leonard, 46
Chief Executive Officer & Director

Mr. Leonard has over 15 years of experience leading highly successful business transformations and transitions. Mr. Leonard also has deep expertise over the past 8 years driving decarbonization through technology adoption, product lifecycle management and development and industrial demand destruction. Mr. Leonard has held various roles at both public and private companies including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Restructuring Officer and Independent Director. Previously, Mr. Leonard served as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Restructuring Officer at GenOn Energy from 2017 until 2018, and Chief Executive Officer of GenOn Mid-Atlantic LLC in 2018. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Leonard was at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE), where he served as the Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Functions for the Enterprise Services business. Prior to that, Mr. Leonard served as Deputy Executive Director, Chief Strategy & Administrative Officer for the Texas Department of Transportation from 2012 to 2014. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Leonard held positions as Senior Vice President, Performance Improvement and Vice President, Corporate Planning at TXU Corp. and it’s successor Energy Future Holdings Corp. Mr. Leonard previously served on the board of directors of NRG REMA, LLC and Lonestar II Generation Holdings. Earlier in his career, Mr. Leonard was with McKinsey & Co. as a management consultant and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette as an investment banker. In addition, Mr. Leonard serves as a manager of our sponsor. Mr. Leonard earned a B.S. with Highest Honors from Georgia Tech, and an M.B.A. with Distinction from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern.

David Quiram, 46
Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Quiram has over 20 years of leadership experience in technology, strategy and finance organizations with a deep understanding of the chemicals, emerging technology, bioscience and energy sectors. Previously, Dr. Quiram served as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis and Tax at GenOn Energy (“GenOn”) from 2017 until 2019 where he was responsible for standing up the financial and administrative functions of GenOn as a stand-alone entity from NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG). Prior to that, Dr. Quiram served as Head of Investments for Enterprise Services of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) from 2014 until 2017 where he directed investments into products and services. From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Quiram was with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) as a Senior Manager in their Strategy practice focused on transforming utilities, independent power producers, and energy retailers. From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Quiram worked at multiple roles at TXU Energy starting in finance and later served as Vice President of Retail Pricing and Procurement where he led the pricing and hedging for TXU Energy’s retail portfolio. Dr. Quiram began his career at McKinsey & Co where he worked as an Engagement Manager from 2001 until 2005, and as a Research Scientist at DuPont (NYSE: DD) from 1998 to 2001. Dr. Quiram earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Board of Directors

Scott Honour, 53

Mr. Honour has over 30 years of private equity investment experience and has been involved in over 100 transactions totaling over $20 billion in transaction value. Mr. Honour is Managing Partner of Northern Pacific Group (“NPG”), a private equity firm, which he co-founded in 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Honour was at The Gores Group, a Los Angeles based private equity firm, for 10 years, serving as Senior Managing Director and one of the firm’s top executives. During his time at The Gores Group, the firm raised four funds, totaling $4 billion in aggregate, and made over 35 investments. Mr. Honour also served on the investment committee for The Gores Group. Prior to joining The Gores Group, Mr. Honour was a Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank from 2000 to 2002 and was an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette from 1991 to 2000. Mr. Honour began his career at Trammell Crow Company in 1988. Mr. Honour has served on the board of directors of numerous public and private companies including Solar Spectrum Holdings LLC, Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc., 1st Choice Delivery, LLC, United Language Group, Inc., Renters Warehouse LLC, Real Dolmen (REM:BB) and Westwood One, Inc. (formerly Nasdaq: WWON), and is a co-founder of Titan CNG LLC and YapStone Inc. In addition, Mr. Honour serves as a manager of our sponsor. Mr. Honour earned a B.S. and B.A., cum laude, in Business Administration and Economics from Pepperdine University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Rick Gaenzle, 53

Mr. Gaenzle has over 30 years of private equity investment and corporate finance experience; he is the founder and currently serves as a Managing Director of Gilbert Global Equity Capital, L.L.C., the principal investment advisor to Gilbert Global Equity Partners, L.P. and related entities, a $1.2 billion leveraged buyout and private equity fund. Mr. Gaenzle has spent the last twenty-eight years at Gilbert Global and its predecessor entity, completing over 110 direct equity investments, co-investments and add-on acquisitions for portfolio companies. Previously, Mr. Gaenzle was a Principal of Soros Capital L.P., the principal venture capital and leveraged equity entity of the Quantum Group of Funds and a principal advisor to Quantum Industrial Holdings Ltd. Prior to joining Soros Capital, Mr. Gaenzle held various positions at PaineWebber Inc. Mr. Gaenzle currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Impact Delta, an impact-investing and impact-measurement advisory firm; an Operating Partner of NPG; and Chairman of Lake Street Homes, a single-family rental investment vehicle. Mr. Gaenzle holds a B.A. from Hartwick College and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.

Isaac Barchas, 53

Mr. Barchas is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Research Bridge Partners (“RBP”), a socially-driven investment company, which he founded in 2016. RBP uses both concessionary and nonconcessionary investment to create startup companies based on university research and advance those companies into the venture capital markets. Prior to founding RBP, Mr. Barchas led the Austin Technology Incubator (“ATI”) at The University of Texas at Austin from 2006 to 2016. ATI’s Clean Energy Incubator was the first university clean tech incubation program in the United States. During Mr. Barchas’ leadership, ATI companies raised over $1 billion in the capital markets. Mr. Barchas joined the university from McKinsey & Co., where he worked in the Chicago, Sydney, Auckland, and Dallas offices, from 1996 to 2006 and served on the leadership teams of McKinsey’s North American Healthcare Practice and Global Organization Practice. Mr. Barchas has served on multiple private company boards and on philanthropic boards including Pecan Street Inc., the largest analytically-focused clean energy and climate data consortium in the United States, where he was a founding board member. Mr. Barchas earned a J.D. (honors) and M.A. (Century Fellowship) from The University of Chicago. He received an A.B. from Stanford University (honors and Phi Beta Kappa).

Justin Kelly, 49

Mr. Kelly is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Winslow Capital Management, LLC (“Winslow Capital”), Nuveen’s center of excellence for growth investing. Mr. Kelly also serves as lead portfolio manager on the firm’s flagship U.S. Large Cap Growth Strategy. Mr. Kelly has been with Winslow Capital for over two decades and has transformed the firm from a single strategy, niche investment firm to a thought leader globally in growth equity investing with four strategies. Prior to joining Winslow Capital in 1999, Mr. Kelly was an equity analyst at Investment Advisors in Minneapolis. Prior to that, Mr. Kelly worked at Prudential Bache, from 1993 to 1996 as Investment Banker, and Salomon Brothers, from 1996 to 1997 as Investment Banker. Mr. Kelly earned a B.S. in Finance/Investments from Babson College.