Ballard Power Systems, the Vancouver producer of hydrogen fuel cells, said it agreed to sell its automotive-fuel-cell business to Daimler AG of Germany and Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn, Mich. As payment, Ballard will receive the 34.3 million of its shares that Daimler and Ford hold.
The shares are valued at US$168 million based on their 20-day average trading price, Ballard said. Auto-fuel-cell development is expensive and time-consuming, Ballard said, adding that going forward it will concentrate on developing the cells for industrial applications. Ballard expects to record a gain on the transaction of $95 million to $105 million and will retire the shares it receives in the deal. About 113, or 20%, of Ballard's staffers will join Daimler and Ford, the company said. The boards of Ballard and Ford have approved the terms. The deal is subject to approval by Daimler's supervisory board and clearance by antitrust regulators. Separately, Ballard reported that it narrowed its third-quarter net loss to 14 cents a share from 16 cents, as revenue rose 53% to $17.6 million.