GKN buys Williams Hybrid from GP specialist

GKN plc, the global engineering group, has bought Williams Hybrid Power Limited (WHP) from Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited. .

Frank Thorpe [pictured], WHP’s Head of Bus Systems, is staying with the project.

WHP specialises in the design and manufacture of composite flywheel-based energy storage systems, initially exploring options for the bus, truck and tram markets.

GKN and WHP have been working together to validate the use of this technology and now that this stage has been reached, it is “appropriate for GKN to use its global resources and manufacturing capability to maximise the commercial opportunities that exist.”

The system has completed an eight-week trial fitted to a bus in London, operated by Go-Ahead.

GKN Land Systems CEO Phil Swash says: “This is a great opportunity for GKN to take a unique technology to global markets, helping solve the emissions and efficiency challenges faced by mass transit companies around the world.

“It also provides GKN with a unique set of engineering skills that we believe will help bring new innovation and performance to our wider product portfolio.”

The deal is an 8m cash purchase, plus payments on future sales of WHP products over the next 10 years. This will be calculated at 3.5% of sales in each of the first five years, declining on a stepped basis to 1.5% by the end of the 10 years, with a minimum payment over the period of at least 4m.

For the financial year ended 31 December 2013, WHP made a loss after tax of 1m and had gross assets of 3.2m.