Weichai Power Co., Ltd. (HK2338; SZ000338) subscribed for Canada's Ballard Power Systems Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) 19.9% through its wholly-owned subsidiary Weichai Power (Hong Kong) International Development Co., Ltd. for US$164 million. The shares were completed on November 13, local time in Canada, officially becoming the largest shareholder of Ballard. At the same time, Weichai Power will appoint two Ballard board members, and Ballard's board seats will increase from 7 to 9.
Ballard is a global leader in hydrogen fuel cells in Canada. It designs, develops, manufactures and markets proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for various applications and provides technical services. The products and engineering services are mainly used in heavy-duty motive power systems, such as bus, commercial truck, rail and marine. Ballard also offers PEM fuel cell products and engineering services for the automotive, material handling and stationary power markets. Ballard has leading customers in key global markets, including the United States, Europe, China and Japan. Ballard has been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ exchange since 1993 and 1995, respectively.
After the equity cooperation, the two parties will immediately enter the stage of substantive business cooperation, strategically focus on the Chinese market, develop the next generation of hydrogen fuel cell products, and quickly realize the commercialization and engineering of relevant leading technologies in China. Specifically include:
(1) Joint venture company: The two parties will jointly invest RMB 1.1 billion to form a joint venture company, Weichai Power will own 51%, and Ballard will initially hold 49%. The board of directors of the joint venture company has 5 members, Weichai Power will appoint 3 directors, and Ballard will appoint 2 directors. The joint venture will have exclusive rights to Ballard's next-generation PEM fuel stack and module technology products in the Chinese bus, commercial truck and forklift markets.
(2) Joint development and product procurement: The joint venture company will pay Ballard 90 million US dollars to jointly develop next-generation PEM fuel cell stacks and modules. The joint venture company will have the exclusive rights to these technologies in the Chinese bus, commercial truck and forklift markets, and Ballard will have the exclusive rights to these technologies outside the Chinese market. At the same time, the two parties have reached agreement on the cooperation framework of 4.0kW/L stack technology and future technologies of 4.0kW/L or above. Before the end of 2021, Weichai plans to deliver 2000 fuel cell modules for China market and will partner with the joint venture company to exclusively use Ballard technology for this program, with an expected market launch by the end of this year.
At present, Weichai has established its strategic goal of leading the global industry development in 2030. Through this transaction, Weichai Power will use its cooperation with internationally renowned companies to integrate global resources, fully enter the field of hydrogen fuel cells, accelerate the breakthrough of the core technology of hydrogen fuel cells, promote the launch of Weichai Power's new energy strategy, and lead China's commercial vehicles. And the forklift industry to upgrade to new energy, to help win the "blue sky defense war."