Canadian fuel cell pioneer Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) is getting out of the drones business. Admittedly, Ballard Power is much better known for building zero emission proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems to power electric forklifts and buses (and cars, trucks, trains, and boats too). But apparently, Ballard also had a business devoted to designing very small fuel cell power systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well.
Until all of a sudden, it didn't.
In a press release this morning, Ballard announced that industrial giant Honeywell (NYSE:HON) has purchased all of the "business assets" of Ballard's "UAV subsidiary" for a price that Ballard declined to disclose. (Note: When a business does not disclose the price, this implies that it is not "material" -- and not much).
Ballard CEO Randy MacEwen explained that although Ballard still believes that fuel cells remain a viable solution to powering UAVs, it has decided that drones are "non-core" to its business. Going forward, Ballard promises to continue "a long-term strategic collaboration" with Honeywell as the latter continues to develop its own fuel cell-powered drone models. As for Ballard, however, it intends to "focus on the Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive markets of bus, truck, train and marine."
Shares of Ballard are trading down 3.5% on the news, and Honeywell stock is also down, 1.3%, as of 11:11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 15.