21.02.03

21.2.2003: Meldung: Ballard Power to Acquire Generator Assets

Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP - News; TSX:BLD - News) and Coleman Powermate, Inc., have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding whereby Ballard will purchase Coleman Powermate"s AirGen(TM) fuel cell generator assets. Ballard will acquire all related inventory, tools and molds, software and intellectual property, including the AirGen(TM) brand, and will develop its own sales, marketing and distribution strategy for the fuel cell generator. The Memorandum of Understanding is subject to completion of due diligence.
The AirGen(TM), powered by Ballard"s Nexa(TM) power module, was launched in December 2002 for industrial use as a portable power source or emergency backup power system. With the recent consolidation of the First Alert® and Coleman Powermate units of American Household, Inc., the new management team has decided to focus its efforts on its traditional business lines.
"The AirGen(TM) fuel cell generator is an innovative and groundbreaking product," said Gwen Wisler, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Alert/Powermate, Inc. "Nevertheless, after a review of our product portfolio, it"s clear that this product requires a different approach than our current go-to-market strategy. We are pleased that Ballard is taking the initiative to help take this product to the next level. We will work closely with Ballard to ensure a smooth transition."
The AirGen(TM) fuel cell generator was first commercialized for industrial customers using hydrogen fuel supplied through high-pressure cylinders. Ballard is currently reviewing alternative approaches for the manufacture, distribution, sale and marketing of fuel cell generators, powered by Ballard"s Nexa(TM) power module, for home and commercial use. A key to expanding the consumer market will be the successful development of a hydrogen fuel supply using metal hydride canisters.
Dennis Campbell, Ballard"s President and Chief Operating Officer said, "We are pleased with the opportunity to take a more proactive role in the development and introduction of this exciting new product. Ballard will take the leadership in accelerating the availability and adoption of a commercial hydrogen storage solution by working directly with fuel canister suppliers, gas suppliers, the Department of Transportation and other regulatory bodies. We are developing our marketing plans, including branding and distribution strategies that will focus on working with various channels and channel partners to bring a consumer fuel cell product to market."
Ballard continues to actively market its Nexa(TM) power module, which has an existing base of 48 customers, spanning 12 countries.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the beliefs of Ballard"s management and reflect Ballard"s current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. When used in this release, the words "estimate", "project", "believe", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "plan", "predict", "may", "should", "will", the negative of these words or such other variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current views of Ballard with respect to future events based on currently available information and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements.
Ballard Power Systems is recognized as the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing zero-emission proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Ballard is commercializing fuel cell engines for transportation applications and fuel cell systems for portable and stationary products. Ballard is also commercializing electric drives for fuel cell and other electric vehicles, power conversion products, natural gas and hydrogen generator sets and is a Tier 1 automotive supplier of friction materials for power train components. Ballard"s proprietary technology is enabling automobile, bus, electrical equipment, portable power and stationary product manufacturers to develop environmentally clean products for sale. Ballard is partnering with strong, world-leading companies, including DaimlerChrysler, Ford, EBARA, ALSTOM and FirstEnergy, to commercialize Ballard® fuel cells. Ballard has supplied fuel cells to Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Yamaha, Cinergy and Coleman Powermate, among others.
Ballard, the Ballard logo and Power to Change the World are registered trademarks of Ballard Power Systems, Inc. Nexa is a trademark of Ballard Power Systems, Inc.


Contact:
Ballard Power Systems, Inc.
Michael Rosenberg, 604/412-3195
fax: 604/412-3100
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