Maxwell sells off its Swiss high voltage line

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Under terms of the agreement, Maxwell sold all shares of its Swiss subsidiary, Maxwell Technologies SA, and its CONDIS  line of high voltage capacitors for $55.1 million in cash and up to $15 million in potential future milestone payments to a special purpose holding entity that is part of Renaissance. “This action was taken to put the necessary resources in place so Maxwell can better focus on and pursue the tremendous growth opportunities presented by the markets of auto, wind, rail and grid served by our ultracapacitor technology as well as to properly support research and development efforts to advance our Dry Battery Electrode (DBE) technology,” said Dr Franz Fink, Maxwell’s chief executive officer. 

“While the decision to sell the HV business was difficult, it underscores Maxwell’s commitment to create long-term value driven by technologies that have the potential to dominate the markets they serve on a global basis. We remain steadfast in executing our plan and continue to explore all avenues to enhance shareholder value and improve our competitive position,” he said.

Renaissance is backed by 45 leading Swiss pension funds and has financed over 40 Swiss SMEs with a focus on buyouts for family-owned companies.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that our DBE technology holds significant advantages over currently available energy systems for electric vehicles (EV) and positions us for significant long-term value creation as a result. We felt the time was right to shift our focus to further develop disruptive technologies and energy systems that address burgeoning global markets, notably the dramatically expanding EV market,” he added. The International Energy Agency forecasts the number of EV’s on the road will grow from 3 million in 2017 to 125 million by 2030, a nearly 42X increase.

“This transaction is a win-win for Maxwell and Renaissance in that Maxwell is able to fuel their DBE development activities and we are able to add a business with a growth curve that fits well with our portfolio and investment approach,” said Xavier Paternot, managing partner at Renaissance. “Importantly, customers currently benefitting from their use of Maxwell HV products can rest assured performance and support, in all regards, will continue at a high level under the stewardship of Renaissance.”

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