GKN buys Williams Hybrid Power

GKN will commercialize Williams Hybrid Power's composite flywheel energy storage technology to help solve emissions and efficiency challenges in transportation.

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The global engineering group, GKN plc (Redditch, U.K.) has acquired composite flywheel specialist, Williams Hybrid Power (WHP, Oxfordshire, U.K.). Established in 2008, WHP designs and manufactures energy storage systems using composite flywheel technology, initially exploring the automotive, bus, truck, tram and mass transit rail markets. GKN and WHP have worked together to demonstrate these systems in the bus market. (See CW Blog: Composite flywheels finally picking up speed?)

The reported purchase price is £8 million (EUR 9.7 million or $13.3 million). The unit will become known as GKN Hybrid Power and will be part of the GKN Land Systems division. U.K. sources report Williams Grand Prix CEO Mike O’Driscoll has commented that the WHP business "is now at the point of broader market commercialization," and that GKN has "the resources and expertise to fully realize the enormous potential of the motor sport-proven flywheel technology."

Phil Swash, Chief Executive of GKN Land Systems, said: “This acquisition 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.”

GKN's other business units include GKN Driveline, GKN Powder Metallurgy and GKN Aerospace. GKN Plc ranks No. 34 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers, with sales to automakers of $6.4 billion in 2012.