Orange County Business Journal

Clean Energy Raises Another $150M from T. Boone Pickens, Prior Investors

Chris Casacchia Friday, December 30, 2011

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has raised another $150 million from prior investors, including legendary oilman and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens.

Pickens, who started Clean Energy as a tiny part of his Dallas-based Mesa Petroleum in the late 1980s and split it off a decade later, exercised warrants to purchase 15 million shares of the company’s common stock at $10 per share.

The deadline to exercise the warrants was 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Dec. 28, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pickens was originally issued the warrants in 2006 before the company’s initial public offering.

Pickens purchased 1.5 million of those shares and transferred the remaining lot to previous investors, including RRJ Capital, Seatown Holdings International Pte. Ltd., Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Chief Capital LP, an investment fund owned by energy investor Trevor Rees-Jones.

Clean Energy raised $450 million in 2011 with the latest investment, Chief Executive Andrew Littlefair said.

That puts it among the highest-funded companies in Orange County.

Clean Energy has annual revenue of more than $200 million and hopes to clear earnings hurdles by building a network of fueling stations for the largest segment of the market: heavy-duty haulers that consume some $30 billion of fuel annually.

That dwarfs the public sector and waste-management industries combined.

The funding backs Clean Energy’s plan to develop corridors of natural gas fueling stations throughout the country and other projects.

The goal is to establish what Clean Energy is calling “America’s Natural Gas Highway.”

When the multi-year project concludes, major transportation arteries in California, Texas and the Midwest are expected to have natural gas stations spread out every 250 miles or so.

Investors shrugged off the news and sent Clean Energy shares down less than 1% in midday New York trading on a broadly flat trading day on the last session of the year.