ChargePoint to buy VW-backed charging software firm for $295 million


FILE PHOTO: A ChargePoint station on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Christoph Steitz/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - ChargePoint, one of the world's largest electric vehicle charging networks, on Tuesday said it has agreed to acquire operating software firm has.to.be for 250 million euros ($295 million) to expand its foothold in the European market.

Founded in 2013, has.to.be, in which Volkswagen is a minority shareholder, employs 125 people in Austria and Germany. Its software manages more than 40,000 charging points on the continent, with access to 250,000 via roaming agreements.

"As an established leader in North America, our continued investment in Europe is critical to our stated growth strategy," ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano said.

"Our combined assets should position us to accelerate our leadership as electrification continues to take hold across continents."

Has.to.be's more than 1,000 customers include BP, Volkswagen units Audi and Porsche as well as charging joint venture Ionity, whose shareholders include Daimler, BMW, Ford and Hyundai.

ChargePoint's acquisition comes a week after the European Union unveiled a policy package to combat climate change and bring down emissions, with spending on charging infrastructure expected to be 80-120 billion euros by 2040.

($1 = 0.8480 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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