Metallic Power Raises $18 Million.

Zinc air fuel cell developer lines up four new investors and venture capital.

Published: 30-Oct-2000

CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct 30, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Metallic Power, the leading developer of zero-emission, rapidly refuelable zinc/air fuel cells, announced today that it has closed its third round of venture capital funding, with $18 million in new investment and four new investors: The Beacon Group Energy Funds, an affiliate of Chase Capital Partners; Cinergy Ventures LLC, a business unit of Cinergy Corp.; Cominco Ltd.; and Perseus LLC.

This round of financing also saw the return of previous investors including Nth Power, Arete Corporation, Hydro-Quebec Capitech and Minnesota Power. "We are extremely pleased with the level of interest from new investors and the vote of confidence from our original investors returning to participate in this round, as well as with the depth of experience that our new investors bring to Metallic Power," stated Dr. Jeffrey Colborn, president and CEO of Metallic Power.

"Now that we have demonstrated working prototypes and achieved several key technological milestones, this round of financing will enable us to refine our technology and processes as we move towards commercialization of our products," Colborn added. "Current attention to energy costs and environmental concerns make the need for our technology more important than ever."

The company's impressive scientific and technological expertise contributed directly to securing the $18 million of blue chip funding, which will advance the introduction of products based on Metallic Power's zinc/air fuel cell technology. Metallic Power will use the influx of capital to fund product development and acquire capital equipment as they move towards the manufacturing phase.

The funding will also allow the firm to further expand its highly skilled team of scientists and engineers. Previously, Metallic Power received $8.8 million from its first and second rounds of venture funding. The firm is on schedule to begin preliminary field trials during the next quarter, with continued prototype field-testing to begin later in 2001 and initial product launch slated for 2002.

Metallic Power Inc., founded in 1995 and based in Carlsbad, CA near San Diego, is the leader in developing zinc/air fuel cell-based products. These rapidly refuelable power sources use recyclable zinc fuel to provide emission-free electricity for a variety of applications -- from transportation to industrial to home and recreational use.

Compared to other fuel cell technologies, Metallic Power's zinc/air system does not require a high pressure or high temperature operating environment and because it uses zinc fuel, one of the Earth's most abundant elements, it does not require the use of costly fuel reformers. Because of the system's fundamental simplicity, its developers believe that it will offer a safer, more cost-effective approach to renewable energy. For more information, visit www.metallicpower.com.

The Beacon Group Energy Funds (www.beacongrp.com), an affiliate of Chase Capital Partners, is one of the nation's largest private equity investors in the energy industry. With offices in New York and Boston, Beacon manages over $1.6 billion of capital devoted to the energy sector. Beacon has made a number of investments in power technology, including Beacon Power Corp., Capstone Turbine Corp., Powercell Corp., Proton Energy Systems and Soft Switching Technologies.

Cinergy Ventures, LLC is the venture investing arm of Cinergy Corp. (www.cinergy.com) headquartered in Cincinnati, and one of the nation's leading diversified energy companies. Cinergy Ventures' mission is to invest in companies developing emerging energy technologies that will create both strong financial returns and strategic business opportunities for the existing Cinergy business units. Cinergy Ventures, LLC is committed to becoming the leading energy technology incubator among integrated utilities. To date, Cinergy Ventures has a portfolio of over $100 million in direct private investments and funds, including approximately $60 million in 2000.

Cominco Ltd. (www.cominco.com) is a world leader in zinc, including exploration, mining, refining, technology, marketing and sales. The company is the largest research and technology centers have significant expertise in electrochemistry and batteries.

Perseus LLC ("Perseus") is a merchant bank and private equity fund management company with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Since its inception in 1994, Perseus has invested funds in a broad range of transactions from venture capital financing to leveraged buyouts. Perseus has made a number of significant investments in energy technology companies, focusing its efforts on innovative companies addressing the power quality, the power reliability, and the distributed generation markets.

Perseus has made investments in such companies as Beacon Power, Proton Energy, Powercell and Nexus Energy. Perseus and its affiliates manage over $1 billion of capital in five investment funds. In addition, an affiliate of Perseus is the Portfolio Advisor to the Perseus CDO I, Limited, a Collateralized Debt Obligation fund.

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