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September 23, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

FuelCell Energy completes $35.4 million acquisition; still faces financial troubles

Danbury’s FuelCell Energy Inc. has completed its acquisition of the 14.9 megawatt fuel cell park in Bridgeport from its original owner, Dominion Energy. FuelCell developed, built  and commissioned the fuel cell park in December 2013, since which time it has operated and maintained the plant under a service agreement with Dominion.

The acquisition was first announced in November at a cost of $36.6 million, but the Danbury company said the deal was finalized for $35.4 million. FuelCell funded the acquisition with a combination of third-party financing and $15 million of restricted cash on hand that was tied to the project and released at closing. Liberty Bank and Fifth Third Bank jointly provided the senior project-level debt facility of $25 million, while the Connecticut Green Bank provided additional capital.

Going forward, FuelCell will own and operate the plant as part of its generation portfolio. The firm said the transaction is expected to add annual revenue in excess of $15 million per year, deliver earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margins in excess of 50 percent and be accretive to its earnings per share.

FuelCell has been dogged by financial troubles of late, to the point where Nasdaq has threatened to delist it if its stock price fails to reach $1 and stay there for 10 consecutive days by May 28. Last week it undertook a reverse split of its stock at a ratio of 12 to 1  after its shares dropped to 20 cents. That move gave it a market capitalization of nearly $26 million; the stock opened at $2.46 on May 8 but has dropped steadily since, opening today at $1.27.

Last month FuelCell announced it was cutting 135 jobs, which it said would result in annual payroll savings of $11.5 million.