Canadian Manufacturing

Ballard pens $30M acquisition of fuel cell company Protonex

Clean energy company looks to scale up and diversify with purchase



VANCOUVER—Ballard Power Systems has announced it will acquire Protonex Technology Corporation, a company which designs and manufactures advanced power management products and portable fuel cells. As part of the transaction, valued at $30 million, Ballard is assuming and paying Protonex’s debt obligations at closing, currently estimated at approximately $4.4 million, and paying the balance of approximately $25.6 million through the issuance of 11.2 million Ballard shares. The number of Ballard shares to be issued is subject to adjustment based on the final debt obligations at closing.

Founded in 2000, Protonex is a private company headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts and currently has 53 employees and approximately 85 patents issued and pending in power management solutions, proton exchange membrane fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, and fuel reformer technology, which generate clean energy from readily available fuels such as propane, natural gas or diesel. In its last fiscal year Protonex generated revenue of $13.8 million with 40% gross margin.

“We continue to evolve Ballard’s business model, including our recent implementation of a customer-centric sales and marketing strategy built on power products and technology solutions growth platforms,” Randy MacEwen, Ballard president and CEO, said. “The acquisition of Protonex represents a complementary addition to our Power Products platform by delivering strategic benefits in four key areas – diversification, growth, scale and profitability.”

The Burnaby, B.C.-based clean energy company expects the deal will lead to product and technological diversification, increased growth, larger scale and higher profitability.

Ballard intends to leave the Protonex employee base and leadership team intact.

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