Fuel Cell Developer Plug Power Secures $6.5 M Investment from Air Liquide

09 May 2013

Crown FLT with Plug Power fuel cell

Plug Power Inc., a leader in providing fuel cells for materials handling vehicles, has announced a $6.5 million (€5 million) strategic investment from its partner Air Liquide, which includes a preferred stock purchase, increased ownership of the companies' HyPulsion joint venture and an engineering services contract.

The investment is a significant endorsement of Plug Power's strategy to grow its business of hydrogen fuel cells for forklift trucks and other horizontal markets. The company has seen sales of its GenDrive fuel cells increase by 36% in 2012. The products have been successfully deployed at customers such as Walmart, Sysco, P&G, BMW and the recently announced Ace Hardware Corp.

Including this investment, the company has raised $12 million so far in 2013.

Fuel cell forklift being refuelled

Transaction Details

Air Liquide's investment in Plug Power includes the following components:

  • A $2.6 million (€2 million) investment in convertible preferred stock with a 60% conversion premium to market and an 8% coupon. As part of this stock purchase, an Air Liquide representative will join Plug Power's board.  The parties have signed a Securities Purchase Agreement for the investment and the transaction is expected to close no later than May 22nd.
  • Air Liquide also purchased from Plug Power a 25% ownership interest in HyPulsion for $3.3 million (€2.5 million). HyPulsion is a joint venture between Axane, an Air Liquide subsidiary, and Plug Power to market hydrogen fuel cells into European markets.  After the investment, Plug Power owns 20% of HyPulsion, but has the right to purchase a majority interest in 2018.
  • The companies have also signed a $659,000 (€500,000) engineering service contract in order to accelerate the development of the European market for hydrogen forklift with the Europeanisation of key components. 

Further details relating to the preferred stock investment and related transactions can be found in Plug Power's Current Report on Form 8-K filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: adapted from Plug Power news release

Images courtesy of Crown Equipment Corp.

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