Oklo Inc., a developer of advanced nuclear systems backed by Sam Altman, plans to go public through a merger with his special-purpose acquisition company AltC Acquisition Corp.
The company would go public by combining with AltC Acquisition, a SPAC co-founded by Altman, the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, and former Citigroup banker Michael Klein, according to a release Tuesday. The transaction values California-based Oklo at about $850 million.
The deal comes as the small-scale nuclear industry gains momentum in the global shift toward cleaner sources of energy. Oklo and other companies are developing systems that can be manufactured in factories and assembled on-site, a strategy that supporters say will make them faster and cheaper to deploy.
Nuclear fusion startups have been backed by major players including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Palantir’s Peter Thiel. As the science advanced in recent years, fusion began to attract a new class of investors, and more private companies jumped into the race to bring electricity from fusion power plants to the grid.
Altman’s OpenAI is the artificial-intelligence company behind viral chatbot ChatGPT. He invested in Oklo in 2015 and became chairman, believing it is “the best positioned player to pursue commercialization of advanced fission energy solutions,” according to the release.
The deal is expected to provide up to $500 million of gross capital to accelerate Oklo’s business plan.
(Updates to provide additional details throughout.)
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