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GKN acquires Williams Hybrid Power flywheel-based energy storage system business

GKN plc, the global engineering group, has acquired Williams Hybrid Power Limited (WHP) from Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited. WHP specializes in the design and manufacture of composite flywheel-based energy storage systems, initially focused on the bus, truck and tram markets. The new business will be called GKN Hybrid Power.

GKN and WHP have been working together to validate the use of this technology. GKN said that now that this stage has been reached, it is appropriate for it to use its global resources and manufacturing capability to maximize the commercial opportunities that exist.

The consideration payable for the acquisition comprises cash consideration of £8.0 million (US$13.3 million) payable at closing, together with potential uncapped additional consideration payable based upon future sales of WHP products in the following 10 years.

That additional consideration will be calculated at 3.5% of sales in each of the first five years, declining on a stepped basis to 1.5% by the end of the 10-year period, and shall only be payable to the extent that it cumulatively exceeds £4.0 million (US$6.65 million) The acquisition will be funded from GKN’s existing resources.

For the financial year ended 31 December 2013, WHP made a loss after taxation of £1.0 million (US$1.7 million) and had gross assets of £3.2 million (US$5.3 million).

This acquisition is a great opportunity for GKN to take a unique technology to global markets, helping solve the emissions and efficiency challenges faced by mass transit companies around the world. It also provides GKN with a unique set of engineering skills that we believe will help bring new innovation and performance to our wider product portfolio.

—Phil Swash, Chief Executive of GKN Land Systems

Separately, Volvo Car Group and flywheel energy storage system company Flybird recently announced that real-world driving data from tests on public roads and test tracks in both Sweden and the UK, has shown that the flywheel-based hybrid technology can deliver an 80 hp (60 kW) performance boost, together with fuel savings of up to 25%. (Earlier post.)

As a group, GKN plc employs nearly 50,000 people in more than 30 countries, with sales of £7.6 billion (US$12.6 billion) in 2013.


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