BIC Group Acquires Angstrom Power Incorporated
BIC Group, parent company of Norwood & BIC Graphic North America, today announced that its Canadian subsidiary, BIC Inc., has acquired the assets of Angstrom Power Incorporated, Vancouver, B.C., a company specializing in the development of portable fuel cell technology. The purchase price is CAD 18.7 million (approximately $18.36 million U.S.).
A portable fuel cell device works with a replaceable fuel cartridge and provides charging capability to consumer electronic devices that have rechargeable batteries (e.g. smart phones, tablets, cell phones, gaming, GPS, etc.) and direct power to other electric indoor and outdoor devices. By offering instant, constant and extended power, portable fuel cells will give the consumer convenient access to power whenever and wherever needed, as an alternative to electricity from a wall outlet.
For nearly 10 years, BIC has been developing hydrogen fuel cartridges which are connected to the fuel cell device and replaced once the fuel is depleted. During this time, Angstrom Power Incorporated has been developing portable fuel cell devices. BIC's hydrogen fuel cartridge technology and the Angstrom fuel cell technology work very well together. BIC and Angstrom prototype designs have demonstrated high levels of performance and efficiency.
"BIC's vision for the portable fuel cell industry remains to manufacture and commercialize a replaceable hydrogen fuel cartridge," said Mario Guevara, chief executive officer of BIC. "With the purchase of Angstrom, BIC will also be able to provide a total power solution."
Companies whose devices rely on rechargeable batteries have shown a keen interest in the promise of such fuel cell technology. BIC expects to bring a portable fuel cell device and fuel cell cartridge to market in two to five years.
"Since 2003, BIC has been working on fuel cell research and development by leveraging its expertise in lighter valve technology to produce cartridges," said Bruno Bich, chairman of the board of BIC. "The acquisition of Angstrom confirms our commitment to be active in the portable fuel cell industry and expand our product portfolio of high-quality consumer goods."
Paul Zimmermann, chief executive officer for Angstrom Power Incorporated, added, "Angstrom has advanced its fuel cell technology to the point where investment is required in new areas including marketing and distribution. BIC's complementary capabilities in these areas combined with their state-of-the-art fuel cartridge technology make BIC the ideal acquirer for Angstrom."