DETROIT -- A unit of supplier Johnson Controls Inc. has taken a $6.3 million (Canadian), or $6.1 million, equity stake in Azure Dynamics Corp., a hybrid electric powertrain manufacturer for commercial fleets.
Azure, which is based in suburban Detroit, said the deal is expected to close June 15.
The Johnson Controls subsidiary is buying 21 million shares of Azure, at 30 cents each. That translates into a 3.4 percent stake in the company.
The figures are in Canadian dollars because Azure is primarily traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Azure’s shares opened at 29 cents today.
Azure said it plans to use the influx of cash to fund product development, commercialization efforts and general corporate purposes.
The company reported a net loss of $4.5 million in the first quarter compared to a net loss of $7.4 million during the same quarter last year. At the same time, it boosted first-quarter revenue this year to $2.8 million from $573,000 in the first three months of 2009.
“This strategic investment...is a meaningful endorsement of our technology by the world’s leading supplier of automotive batteries and a company deeply experienced in integrated automotive systems solutions,” Azure CEO Scott Harrison said in a statement. “It also further solidifies the already strong relationship between our two companies.”
Azure has a contract to supply a hybrid electric powertrain to Ford Motor Co. for the automaker’s all-electric version of its Transit Connect van and it had sold small numbers of its products elsewhere.
Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, through its Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture, has a relationship with Ford to supply hybrid and electric battery technology.