The Plug Power Inc. platform continues to gain momentum with the news that the company is to acquire full control of HyPulsion, its European joint venture with Axane, S.A., a subsdiriary of Air Liquide S.A.

The definitive agreement will see Plug Power acquire the remaining 80% of the venture that it doesn’t currently own, for around $11.4m in Plug Power common stock.

Perhaps more pertinently, the full acquisition of HyPulsion is expected to see Plug Power ‘poised’ to convert the $20bn European electric lift truck market to hydrogen fuel cells.

The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions and is expected to close no later than August 2015.

Strategic path

Plug Power and Air Liquide founded HyPulsion in 2012 to ‘jump-start’ the hydrogen and fuel cell market in Europe. To date the company has achieved key milestones in product development, customer engagement and strong OEM relationships.

The original agreement intended for Plug Power to ultimately assume control of HyPulsion, though this was accelerated given Plug Power’s success in the North American market.

“Plug Power has displayed leadership in building an industry in North America, delivering record growth in revenue, bookings and shipments,” affirmed Xavier Pontone, Managing Director of Air Liquide. “We look forward to a continued partnership with Plug Power in the coming years.”

Air Liquide remains a critical partner for Plug Power and its growth strategy within Europe, and will support HyPulsion as a hydrogen supplier to Plug Power’s material handling customers. Additionally, Air Liquide will retain its seat on Plug Power’s board of directors, a position held since 2012.

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Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, added, “A larger stake for Plug Power in Europe follows in line with the strategic path we’ve established to grow to a $500m revenue company.”

“The appropriate sales and engineering staff are in place, and we will now move bullishly to broaden our presence in the European material handling market. I’d like to thank Air Liquide for its years of partnership and am pleased that our work together will continue as we develop the hydrogen economy in Europe.”

Today, Plug Power primarily sells its products into material handling applications, an addressable market that doubles in size when including both North America and Europe. Plug Power has more than 7,000 fuel cell products deployed in North American material handling operations and has recently announced a raft of contracts with new and existing customers in the field.