Investments and acquisitions: Caterpillar and Atlas Copco splash the cash

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Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., has made an equity investment in Powerhive, an energy solutions provider for emerging markets.

Caterpillar Ventures is one of eight investors in a US$20m Series A round, which was led by Prelude Ventures and also includes First Solar, Total Energy Ventures and Tao Capital Partners. The venture financing will support Powerhive’s global expansion and continued growth in East Africa, where the company has operated rural microgrids since 2012.

Collaboration between Powerhive and Caterpillar will combine 

Caterpillar’s depth of experience in emerging markets, technical expertise and scale, with Powerhive’s pioneering microgrid solutions in order to advance both companies’ ability to serve energy demand growth in emerging markets during the 21st century.

Powerhive leverages its proprietary technology platform to develop and operate portfolios of renewable microgrids that supply affordable, reliable and productive electricity to off-grid communities in emerging markets.

Powerhive’s long-term and scalable energy access solution drives rural economic development, reduces energy poverty and results in cleaner, more resilient energy infrastructure in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Over the past year, Caterpillar Inc. has invested in Fluidic Energy, a provider or energy storage solutions, and signed a strategic alliance with First Solar for an integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar solution for use in microgrid applications.

Meanwhile, Atlas Copco has agreed to acquire FIAC, an Italian manufacturer of piston compressors and related equipment with a global sales network. 

FIAC is based in Bologna, Italy, and has approximately 400 employees. The company offers a broad range of piston compressors, air treatment products and spare parts.

Founded in 1977, it has production sites in Italy, China and Brazil, and sells into more than 110 countries. It had revenues in 2014 of about €70m.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2016. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

FIAC will become part of the new Professional Air division in the compressor technique business area that Atlas Copco will create after the completion of the acquisition.

January 29, 2016

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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