Ballard Says in Talks With Daimler on Fuel Cell Unit

Canada's Ballard Power Systems said Monday it is in negotiations with German car and truck maker Daimler as well as Ford Motor regarding its automotive fuel cell business.

In a statement, Ballard said it has been reviewing strategic alternatives for its automotive fuel cell assets because of the length of time before commercialization and the high cost of development.

Shares in the hydrogen fuel-cell maker jumped 16 percent after the news. Ballard was up 75 Canadian cents to C$5.40 early Monday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange after gaining as much as 19 percent earlier in the day.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said it was responding to a report in a German magazine that Daimler had agreed to buy its automotive fuel cell business. Ballard officials declined to elaborate on the company's statement.

Citing an unnamed source or sources at Ballard, German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported that Ballard had completed negotiations with Daimler and that a deal could be officially announced in November.

However, Ballard said there can be no assurance that the negotiations will be successful or, if they are successful, that definitive agreements will be reached.

Daimler has an 18.7 percent stake in Ballard, while Ford owns 11.2 percent.