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Westport Acquires OMVL of Italy and 100% of Juniper Engines for €19M; Launching a Light-Duty Automotive Strategy for Alternative Fuel Engines

Westport Innovations Inc. has acquired 100% of the outstanding shares of OMVL SpA and OMVL’s 51% share of Juniper Engines Inc. for a combined consideration of €19.0 million (approximately US$23.4 million). Westport expects to pay €11.4 million (approximately US$14 million) on closing and €7.6 million (approximately US$9.4 million) on the third anniversary of the closing date.

As a result of the transaction, Juniper, previously a joint venture between wholly owned subsidiaries of Westport Innovations Inc. and SIT Group of Italy (the owner of OMVL), will become, indirectly, wholly owned by Westport. Ian Scott, President of Juniper Engines, will manage the combined companies while Maurizio Grando, Managing Director of OMVL, will continue to manage the Italian operations.

The integration of OMVL will complete Juniper’s light-duty strategy to enter the mobile industrial, non-mobile industrial, and automotive segments. Juniper will grow the business through new OEM relationships and continued strong aftermarket sales, leveraging OMVL’s capabilities and assembly facilities in Italy and Argentina that today supply Europe, Asia and the Americas.

In 2009, Juniper Engines introduced its new 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter alternative fuel engines. Those engines were based on the Hyundai Motor Company’s 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter industrial engine platforms, and OMVL’s LPG multipoint injection technology. (Earlier post.)

Strategic investments in new markets and OEM-class products and capabilities will allow Juniper to compete for leadership in the light-duty alternative fuels market, Westport says.

Since the formation of our Juniper Engines joint venture with OMVL over two years ago, we have worked together to develop a new approach to alternative fuel, light-duty engines. With the successful launch of our first Juniper products, and the rapid development of global markets for alternative fuel engines, we have concluded that this strategic combination, with access to Westport's large intellectual property portfolio, could position Juniper as a significant market participant in light-duty engines.

As part of Westport’s light-duty strategy, OMVL provides access to proven, high quality, multi-point fuel injection technology and world class production and assembly facilities to help develop and sell products for natural gas vehicles.

—David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovation

The total purchase price of approximately US$23.4 million is being financed through a combination of proceeds from cash generated from the recent warrant exercise and general operating funds.

OMVL. OMVL designs, manufactures and markets complete fuelling systems for new vehicles and for the aftermarket conversion of engines from gasoline to compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). OMVL currently collaborates with global manufacturers of motor vehicles, including Volkswagen and PSA Peugeot Citroën, with sales in Europe, the Americas and Australasia. OMVL has production and distribution capabilities in Europe, South America, Australia, and China.

It shipped more than 300,000 units shipped in 2009, including complete fuel systems and specific components such as reducers. Calendar year 2009 revenue was approximately US$23.4 million.

Westport Innovations Inc. is a leading global supplier of proprietary solutions that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen and biofuels such as landfill gas. The Westport GX engine and LNG system for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks offers class-leading emissions and allows trucking fleets to move to lower-cost, domestically available natural gas. Westport has established several joint ventures in the sector:

  • Cummins Westport Inc., Westport’s joint venture with Cummins Inc., manufactures and sells a broad range of low-emissions alternative fuel engines for commercial transportation applications such as trucks and buses.

  • BTIC Westport Inc., Westport’s joint venture with Beijing Tianhai Industry Co. Ltd., manufactures and sells LNG fuel tanks for vehicles.

  • Juniper Engines Inc. offers light-duty LPG and natural gas engine solutions for industrial applications such as forklifts and light-duty automotive.


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