Clearwater International has advised the shareholders of Borit NV (Borit), a leading manufacturer of fuel cell metal bipolar plates, on the sale of the company to Weifu High-Technology Group (Weifu), a Chinese state-owned and stock-listed automotive components manufacturer, for an enterprise value of €42.7m. Borit’s shareholders were represented by Finindus and PMV, two Belgium-based investment companies.
Borit, headquartered in Geel, Belgium, was founded in 2010 and is the world's largest independent one-stop-shop supplier of metal bipolar plates and assemblies used in fuel cells and electrolysers. The company operates a highly automated production facility, with production technology backed by own IP and know-how, providing a state-of-the-art manufacturing platform for the efficient production and development of metal bipolar plates. Borit has a strong and diverse international customer portfolio consisting of OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, fuel cell and electrolyser technology companies active in automotive as well as in non-automotive segments. The company is managed by a highly experienced management team with in-depth market, manufacturing and technology knowledge, who hold strong relationships with customers. Borit generates revenues of approximately €10m and employs around 40 people.
Weifu is a leading automotive component manufacturer and one of China’s Top 500 enterprises. Headquartered in Wuxi, Jiangsu, Weifu has 10 wholly or mostly majority-owned subsidiaries and two joint ventures. The company is listed on the Chinese stock exchange and is partially state-owned. Since its foundation in 1958, Weifu has successfully upgraded and enlarged its original product series from fuel injection products to fuel injection systems, after treatment systems and air management systems, and built a competitive supply chain for automotive core components in China. In 2019, Weifu generated sales of approx. €1.1bn and employed more than 7,000 people worldwide.
With the acquisition of Borit, Weifu is able to quickly enter the metal bipolar plate fuel cell market which is in line with Weifu’s e-mobility strategy. Further, Borit shares a number of synergies with Weifu’s Denmark-based subsidiary IRD, a leading specialist in fuel cell membrane and graphite bi-polar plate products. The combination of Borit, IRD and Weifu’s fuel cell activities, will create the world’s leading independent player of single cell components, covering all relevant fuel cell and electrolyser technologies (metal, graphite etc.). In addition, Borit will benefit from Weifu’s footprint in China to serve its customers on a local for local basis in the future, as well as from Weifu’s industrial expertise in large volume production of automotive components.