Ballard Acquires IdaTech’s Fuel Cell Backup Power Product Lines

26 Jul 2012

IdaTech installationBallard has signed an agreement to acquire assets from IdaTech, a manufacturer of fuel cells for backup power. The assets include product lines, distributor and customer relationships, as well as a license to intellectual property. Ballard has supplied fuel cell stacks for IdaTech’s systems for some years, as IdaTech has developed markets and proven the commercial robustness of its hydrogen and methanol fuelled products in off-grid and backup power applications.

IdaTech’s methanol fuelled product line has proven its strong value proposition to telecommunications customers such as AXIS in Indonesia, Telcel in Mexico and Vodacom in South Africa. These markets, which require frequent and extended run time backup power, have seen a strong preference by IdaTech’s customers for deployments of methanol fuel cell systems to replace traditional diesel generators.

The asset acquisition will allow Ballard a strategic advantage to develop markets in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and South Africa.

South Africa is a market of special interest for fuel cell commercialisation. Ballard has already delivered fuel cell systems to Anglo American Platinum Limited for demonstration in large-scale backup power and mining locomotive applications. In addition, Ballard is working with Anglo American on development of a fuel cell home generator. And, following this asset purchase, Ballard will be working with existing IdaTech customers in South Africa, with whom more than 150 systems have already been deployed.

Payment for the acquisition of these assets will be made through the issuance of $7.7 million of Ballard common shares, at a price of US$1.08 per share. The shares will subsequently be transferred to IdaTech’s principal funder, Investec, a South African specialist bank and asset management company (www.investec.com). The transaction is expected to close on or about July 31, subject to TSX approval and other closing conditions.

Investec has agreed to hold the majority of the Ballard shares issued under the transaction for a minimum period of 12 months, demonstrating its continuing support for the commercialization of fuel cells, with particular interest in South Africa, where Investec is a high profile and leading financial institution with a commitment to transformation initiatives.

Reference: Ballard Power Systems

Image: IdaTech

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