Plug Power Inc., a provider of fuel cell solutions fr the materials handling industry, has acquired the assets of ReliOn Inc., a developer of hydrogen fuel cell stack technology and fuel cell systems based in Spokane, WA. This acquisition marks Plug Power’s expansion into the stationary back-up fuel cell market, where ReliOn has been successful with customers such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
The acquisition adds fuel cell stack technology and products that Plug Power plans to integrate into several models of its GenDrive fuel cell systems with first deployments this year.
ReliOn develops modular, scalable proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cell systems that feature novel air-cooled stack designs with low-cost snap-and-build stack assembly technology. The company has deployed more than 5,000 fuel cell stacks at customer sites.
Currently, Plug Power owns a large portfolio of intellectual property including more than 150 US patents related to fuel cell stack design, fuel cell system design, fuel processing, fuel dispensing, energy storage and controls. This includes patents relating to the safe dispensing of hydrogen and the use of a fuel cell system as a direct battery replacement in material handling applications. The acquisition adds 34 additional US fuel cell patents to the company’s portfolio.
Plug Power paid approximately $4 million in Plug Power common stock for ReliOn’s assets and will add key ReliOn personnel, primarily in sales and engineering. The company expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2015, and to generate approximately $1 million in EBITDAS loss in 2014. Including the impact of the acquisition, the company continues to expect full year 2014 EBITDAS to be positive.