Torotrak Finalises Acquisition of Flybrid, Developers of World-Leading Mechanical Hybrid Technology Following £16 Million Fundraising
Shareholder Approvals Received at General Meeting – Paves the Way for First-to-Market Flybrid M-KERS Product
Leyland, 9 January 2014 – Torotrak PLC (LSE: TRK), a leading developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, has obtained the necessary shareholder approvals to complete its acquisition of Flybrid Automotive Ltd, the award winning British engineering company at the forefront of hybrid vehicles. The deal enables Torotrak to commercialise an affordable hybrid system, to be named “Flybrid M-KERS” that independent research has identified as one of the most cost-effective powertrain technologies for reducing CO2 emissions. With the acquisition of Flybrid, Torotrak now has the leading commercially viable, purely-mechanical flywheel M-KERS system in the market and can offer low cost, high performance hybrid systems for volume adoption in both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
In addition, the fundraising and acquisition add the financing and expertise to accelerate the development of Torotrak’s other infinitely variable transmission technology applications. These include V-Charge variable supercharging for engine downsizing, and main drive transmission products as well as the company’s growing engineering consultancy capabilities.
“When we acquired a 20% stake in Flybrid back in March, we were certain of our combined technology’s potential. With the success of this offering, we’re delighted that our shareholders and the wider investment community have shown they share this belief,” said Jeremy Deering, Torotrak’s CEO. “The world can’t wait for electric hybrid and plug-in CO2 reduction technologies to mature. It needs affordable, effective solutions that can be implemented now and we are better placed than anybody today to provide that fresh approach without the cost and complexity of rival technologies.”
Jon Hilton, currently Managing Director of Flybrid, will join the board of Torotrak plc, bringing 30 years of powertrain engineering expertise gained at the highest level. His experience from championship winning motorsport, through the growth of Flybrid, to his current vice presidency of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers will be invaluable in supporting all of Torotrak’s product lines. Jon, together with Doug Cross, currently Technical Director of Flybrid, will also be key members of the enlarged group’s executive team.
The company’s first joint product will be Flybrid M-KERS for commercial vehicles. This first-to-market technology will launch into trials in 2014 and into production one year later to offer affordable hybrid efficiency within a five year pay-back period. Torotrak is already working with vehicle OEMs and Tier One manufacturers in passenger car, off-highway, bus and coach segments and will increase this engagement as tougher new CO2 regulatory targets take hold. Opportunities for the take up of passenger car Flybrid M-KERS and the company’s innovative V-Charge technology are predicted to grow as the EU drives home its legislation to reduce emissions from 130 g/km in 2015 to a proposed 95 g/km phased in from 2020. Additional reductions to target the 68-78 g/km range are expected just five years later and further increase the market need for these solutions.
The £16 million of funds for the acquisition of Flybrid and to provide investment for the group have been raised from a combination of existing and new institutional investors and from Torotrak’s loyal private shareholder base. In a strong mark of confidence, Allison Transmission, the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-automatic commercial vehicle transmissions, has increased its stake in Torotrak.
As well as funding the initial payments to acquire Flybrid, the proceeds will be used to finance the investment required for the commercialisation of Flybrid’s first manufactured product for the commercial vehicle market and to finance the ongoing design, development and testing of Torotrak’s V-Charge technology and Flybrid’s M-KERS technology for the passenger cars, as well as enhancing Torotrak’s testing and engineering capabilities.
Additional background detail on the technologies and issues discussed is available in the following press releases:
- Torotrak Chief Executive warns that electric vehicles are not the “magic bullet” for CO2 reduction
- Production-feasible second generation V-Charge is smaller, lighter and more efficient
- Torotrak acquires 20% of Flybrid Automotive Ltd
Torotrak (LSE: TRK) is the leading global developer of gearless traction drive technologies, focussing on applications that increase efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles. These include the V-Charge variable-drive supercharger, engine auxiliary drives, IVT and CVT main drive transmissions and a variable speed transmission that enables efficient energy recovery using a mechanically-driven flywheel (M-KERS). The company’s engineering team works with proven, global tier one technology partners to provide a validated route from prototypes to production. Customers include major vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers in the light duty, heavy duty and off-highway sectors. www.torotrak.com