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Exide acquires Aker Wade to forge motive powerhouse

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 15:34 -- John Shepherd
Exide acquires Aker Wade to forge motive powerhouse

US-based lead-acid giant Exide Technologies has moved to tighten its grip on the motive power market by acquiring fast-charge tech pioneer Aker Wade Power Technologies.

Aker Wade designs and manufactures advanced charging systems for industrial forklifts— and the acquisition will see the firm’s chargers become part of Exide’s GNB Industrial Power battery portfolio.

An Exide spokesperson told BBB the deal “will allow us to grow Exide’s motive power battery business worldwide, including lead-acid and lithium-ion”.

“Exide offers a leadership battery portfolio with a solution for every application using a variety of technologies including flat plate, tubular, and lithium,” the spokesperson said.  

“Adding the Aker Wade capabilities to this extensive battery portfolio is a recipe for success,” the spokesperson said. “They pioneered the opportunity/fast charging market and as such have a wealth of experience in developing chargers and applying these solutions in the field successfully.”

Exide president and CEO Vic Koelsch said the deal would enable the firm to “provide complete energy storage, opportunity and fast charging and battery modelling /monitoring solutions to customers with high demand, multi-shift operations”.

Aker Wade MD Bret Aker said the company was “a natural fit” for Exide. Aker will become VP of Software Solutions— leading development of Exide’s new connected power solutions for the motive power industry.

Aker Wade’s research, development and light manufacturing facility will remain in Charlottesville, Virginia and become the GNB Industrial Power “global centre of excellence for charger research and development”. John Aker, who will become VP of global charger development, will lead the new centre. 

Exide said the combined company’s chargers and battery monitoring solutions will be developed and marketed under both the Aker Wade and GNB Industrial Power brands “with distinct solutions developed for targeted channels and segments”.  

The acquisition comes just weeks after Exide, one of the US’ big four and predominantly lead-acid makers, launched a lithium-ion battery aimed at the forklift and autonomous guided vehicle market.

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