Tuesday, December 28, 2010

90 Year Old Electric Freight Truck Manufacturer Sold To US

Smiths Deal Goes Through with Talk of an IPO
Shipping News Feature

UK – US- As we reported back in March the British company Smith Electric Vehicles, a partially owned subsidiary of the Tanfield Group, have been sold to their US counterpart this week. The offer came only months after Smiths ventured into the rapidly growing American electric powered truck market by opening a division there together with associated company, SEVUS and being paid a licence fee for every truck sold, demonstrating the rapid growth in the market.

The purchase of its parent company will mean Smith Electric Vehicles will be firmly established as the world’s largest manufacturer and industry leader of commercial electric vehicles. The $15million sale will be effective Jan. 1, 2011. The Tanfield Group, will retain 49 percent equity in Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. This percentage is subject to dilution as Smith raises additional equity capital.

Smith U.K. has been a leading manufacturer of zero-emissions battery-electric commercial vehicles in Europe since the 1920s. It operates a U.K.-wide service and support network that already maintains more than 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators with the Edison model based on the Ford Transit and the Newton range of heavier trucks being the world’s largest electric delivery vehicle with a top speed of 55 mph and 100 mile range on a single charge. The Newton is powered exclusively by battery, runs without noise or vibration, and stores electric energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking.

Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric US commented:

“Being in a position to unify Smith’s divisions after less than two years of operating in the United States is evidence that the market for affordable, sustainable commercial fleets is fertile. The unification of Smith Electric Vehicles will create operational efficiencies and market synergies that will make Smith more financially sound and productive.”

Darren Kell, CEO of The Tanfield Group Plc, said:

“The board of Tanfield believes that the structure of this transaction offers the best possible deal for all parties. Tanfield’s Powered Access Division benefits from additional working capital and we create a single, global electric vehicle business that is a market leader in both Europe and North America. Most importantly, Tanfield - and therefore its shareholders, retains a significant stake in the combined Smith Electric Vehicle business, with its future potential for an IPO.”