Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), the company that makes alternative energy technology for materials handling equipment, is surging in trading, recently up more than 10%, after expanding a deal with megaretailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).
In a press release, the companies announced that under terms of the deal, Plug Power will issue to Wal-Mart warrants to buy 55.3 million shares and in exchange the company can access project financing at a lower cost of capital. With their current commercial agreement, Wal-Mart buys Plug Power fuel cells for its distribution centers. With the warrants, the company said future distribution transactions with the retailer will be cash flow positive up front. The fuel cell company said it expects to provide its hydrogen fueling station and fuel cell energy technology to up to 30 additional Wal-Mart sites in the U.S. over the next three years. Ten sites are already under contract and slated to be completed by the end of this year. (See also: Plug Power Ships First ProGen Fuel-Cell Engines.)
An 'Expanding Relationship'
The value of the 2017 commitments is projected to be roughly $80 million. The total value of the Plug Power warrants is around $600 million. Wal-Mart will pay the company for the warrants in $50 million installments with the first 5.8 million shares vested upon execution of the new program agreements at a exercise price of $2.1231 per share. The exercise price for warrants vesting after the first 34.9 million warrant shares will be based on the volume-weighted average closing price at the time they vest, the company said. (See also: Why Is Amazon Interested in Plug Power?)
“Our expanding relationship with Walmart validates Plug Power’s advanced capabilities in fuel cell products and systems, allowing the world’s largest retailer to maintain its leading position as an industry innovator,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power in a written statement. “Walmart’s long-term supply agreement is a great example of our strategy in action, as it enables us to improve both our revenue visibility and cost structure, all while allowing our customers to experience improved productivity and operational cost savings.”
The executive went on to say the company is seeing a growing market opportunity for its power and fueling station technologies within the material handling segment. Recently, Power Plug was trading up 10% or $0.21 a share to $2.33 a share. So far this year shares are up more than 80%.