ClearEdge Power closes deal on UTC Power

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Feb. 15, 2013
ClearEdge Power of Hillsboro, Ore., has closed the acquisition of UTC Power. Photo courtesy of UTC Power. - Contributed Photo

A deal to acquire UTC Power of South Windsor has been closed. Oregon-based fuel cell producer ClearEdge Power announced on Tuesday, Feb. 12, that it has closed on its acquisition of the former United Technologies Corp. subsidiary, which was an industry leader in developing and producing fuel cells for global clients. ClearEdge Power has not disclosed financial details of the sale.

“We are excited about the strategic combination of ClearEdge Power and UTC Power and the capability it provides us to address the demand for clean, continuous distributed power solutions,” said David B. Wright, ClearEdge Power president and CEO. The acquisition of the larger and highly experienced UTC Power has positioned ClearEdge to be what Wright calls “the most experienced innovator in the industry.” The move comes at a time when the fuel cell industry is expected to grow.

UTC announced Dec. 22, 2012, that it was divesting UTC Power to ClearEdge. The move was part of an ongoing transformation of the Hartford-based corporation's portfolio to focus on its core aerospace and building systems businesses. UTC has also divested Clipper Windpower, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems. Hamilton Sundstrand, a UTC company, had sold industrial businesses Milton Roy, Sundyne and Sullair, and acquired Goodrich Corporation and a majority share of International Aero Engines to form UTC Aerospace Systems.

For those former UTC Power employees wondering about their future at the company, ClearEdge has provided encouraging news. It has announced that all former UTC Power employees are now employees of ClearEdge, and the company plans on maintaining an operation in South Windsor. Additionally, ClearEdge's purchase of UTC Power in its entirety means that the recently ratified terms of a collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers is still in place.

“I am excited about joining ClearEdge Power,” said former UTC Power General Manager Joseph Triompo. He is now chief operating officer at ClearEdge Power. “The integration of our teams will build upon our rich history and talented workforce and best positions us to meet growing market demand,” he said.

ClearEdge cannot promise that restructuring and layoffs will not be a part of the company's future, however. “We are still assessing the combined business to solidify our long-term strategy,” stated a media release issued by ClearEdge. “We will make organizational and staffing decisions based on what is needed to deliver on that strategy, meet our customers’ requirements and stay competitive.”

ClearEdge now faces the challenge of continuing to support UTC Power customers as the two companies integrate. “Our immediate focus is to seamlessly transition both companies’ customers, while accelerating sales growth and technology development activities,” stated the release. “ClearEdge brings agility, technology and streamlined costs while UTC Power brings stability, technology and longevity. We see our integration as a ‘one plus one equals three’ scenario.”

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