Takes the Firm Best Known for NGV Systems into Propane Autogas,
Buy Includes Knowhow for Natural Gas for Direct Injection Engines
Westport Innovations announced its acquisition of Netherlands-based Prins Autogassystemen for 12.2 million euros, or approximately $15.1 million U.S. The deal broadens Westport’s offerings for natural gas vehicle fuel systems, including equipment for direct injection engines, but more importantly establishes Westport as a major provider of propane autogas systems.
The deal was effected via through a combination of 6.6 million euros (approximately $8.2 million) in assumed liabilities and 5.6 million euros (approximately $6.9 million) in cash. Prins has says of approximately $26.8 million U.S. for the first nine months of 2014, Westport says.
Prins operations in Europe will be combined under the Westport Applied Technologies business unit.
Alliance AutoGas/Blossman Services Relationship Unchanged
Prins’ business in the U.S. is conducted primarily through Alliance AutoGas and Blossman Services, which installs and supports propane autogas systems. Agreements with Prins remain in force, says Alliance/Blossman president Stuart Weidie, “and activities related to expanding our portfolio of certified vehicle platforms will continue.”
Propane is also known as LPG, for liquefied petroleum gas.
“Prins’ globally respected product line, their strong track record in continuous innovation and new product introductions combined with its original equipment manufacturer relationships complement our products and OEM coverage to provide us with a great position as the go-to partner for alternative fuels solutions,” Westport on-road systems and applied technologies executive VP Mehran Rahbar says in a release.
“Westport has a great deal of experience with natural gas direct injection and believes that the combination of Prins’ and Westport’s team and technologies will further strengthen Westport’s dominant technology portfolio,” he said.
‘Full Suite’ of Alt Fuel Systems
“This acquisition is a significant opportunity for Westport to scale, innovate, and derive sales and operations synergies from the combined business.”
Westport gains a “comprehensive product offering… a full suite of alternative fuel systems for bi-fuel, mono-fuel, and dual-fuel applications using LPG, CNG, and LNG.” Prins boasts a global distribution network, selling to end customers in more than 50 countries through OEMs, country importers, and distributors, Westport says, and has systems available for top six European OEM truck brands, as well as such global OEMs as Hyundai and Kia.
“Together, we can create the best-in-class alternative fuel systems across multiple fuel platforms and deliver on superior technology and performance characteristics,” Prins CEO Bart van Aerle says in the Westport announcement.
Navigant Predicts Growth
“According to Navigant Research, approximately 9% of the global consumption of LPG in 2012 was used as an automotive transport fuel,” Westport says. “Navigant Research indicates that in 2012, there were 1 million light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles converted to run on LPG in the world, including 449,000 vehicles in Europe.
“This is forecasted to grow to 1.4 million in new vehicle sales and conversions in 2020. While global sales of light duty LPG vehicles are projected to grow by 2.6% annually from 2014 to 2035, the Middle East and Africa will show faster growth at 4.7% CAGR. In North America, the annual growth rate of all LPG vehicle sales and conversions will average 4.7% between 2014 and 2035.”
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Source: Westport with Fleets & Fuels follow-up