protonMERIDEN: Proton OnSite founded in 1996 is expected to be sold and merged into Nel ASA, an Oslo, Norway based hydrogen production company. The companies have entered a “non-binding” agreement for the purchase, with a total value of $70 million. Nel will pay $20 million in cash and provide new Nel shares at 12 and 24 months intervals, with a set value of NOK [Norwegian Krone] 2.72 or 32 cents US. The market value of Nel is approximately $220 million [US].

Proton Onsite is a privately held company owned by Tom Sullivan, the founder of Lumber Liquidators. Sullivan purchased the assets of a predecessor company from Bankruptcy in 2007. 

hydrogenToday, Proton Onsite has 90 employees and sales of $27 million annually and claims 2,600 hydrogen generator installations in more than 75 countries. The company says it is the “largest manufacturer of [PEM, proton exchange membrane] hydrogen generators across the globe.”

NEL launched a private placement of 65 million shares valued at $21.5 million in conjunction with the acquisition announcement.

Nel Hydrogen is a subsidiary of NEL ASA and is traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange.  The company also has patents related to tests for early detection and diagnosis of diseases.

NEL announced in February contracts to build hydrogen fueling stations for Royal Dutch Shell Plc in California for a contract potentially worth $16.85 million and a contract in Iceland with a value of $4.25 million.

Nel has been manufacturing Hydrogen since 1927 itself and agrees, that Proton is “recognised as the number one provider of PEM electrolysis systems.” Adding, [Proton Onsite] fully complements Nel both in terms of technology and market outreach. The combined entity will be able to offer the full spectre of electrolysers in terms of capacity and technology.”

Proton Onsite technology uses PEM Polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis [PEM] backed by 80 patents to generate Hydrogen from electricity for manufacturing and potentially fuel purposes.

Nel said the acquisition “will create the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser company with a global footprint.”

neL Jon Andre Lokke
Nel CEO Lokke: Generating Hydrogen Deals Around the World.

Appointed just a year ago, Nel CEO Jon André Løkke, said, “this will give Nel a strong foothold in the U.S. and other markets beyond our current position. Proton OnSite also has a very motivated and talented organization, and a solid backlog going into 2017."

Robert Friedland, President & Chief Executive Officer of Proton OnSite, agreed that the hookup will benefit the company, he said, “we look forward to joining forces with Nel. We see strong strategic benefits from combining our technological footprint, and think we can accelerate our combined growth. There is a strong cultural fit combining our two organizations.”