UK-based hydrogen technology developer Ceres has seen its share price fall by nearly 15% today after it admitted in a trading update that a planned joint venture with its two biggest shareholders, Germany’s Bosch and China’s Weichai, has fallen through.
The joint venture, announced in February 2022, would have seen Ceres and Bosch license their respective fuel-cell intellectual property to engine manufacturer Weichai for use in “mobile and stationary applications” in the Chinese market.
Bosch and Weichai would also have set up a solid-oxide fuel-cell manufacturing facility in China, for which Ceres would extend its existing licence to Bosch but not hold a stake in the associated JV.
Ceres anticipated £30m ($38.25m) in licence fees over three years through this joint venture.
However, in the near two years that followed, the three firms were unable to sign off on their initial agreement.
“Whilst we continue to maintain strong relationships with both Bosch and Weichai it is now our belief that the proposed JV is unlikely to be completed in its current form,” the company said in its trading update.
Weichai holds a 19.74% stake in Ceres, while Bosch owns 17.57%.
Instead, the technology developer will now evaluate other options to pursue licensing of its fuel-cell technology to Weichai for sale in the Chinese market. The engine manufacturer had already announced the commercial launch in China of its first stationary solid-oxide fuel cell based on Ceres’ technology in February last year.
This announcement and share drop follows a brief surge at the beginning of the week, after Ceres had signed a £43m licensing deal for both electrolysers and fuel cells with Taiwan-headquartered Delta Electronics.
However, a spokesperson for Ceres confirmed to Hydrogen Insight that the agreement with Delta had no impact on the JV with Bosch and Weichai falling through.