Kraken Sonar Inc. said it has acquired a minority interest in ENITECH Subsea GmbH, renamed Kraken Power GmbH, a provider of specialized deep sea components for underwater robotics based in Rostock, Germany.
Kraken Power GmbH, led by Dr. Carl Thiede, has been working on pressure tolerant technology and products for the subsea market for the past 10 years and is a specialist in deep-sea components for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Pressure tolerant components are electronic components or assemblies that can operate satisfactorily under high pressure (hyperbaric or hydrostatic, such as oil baths), without the need of a high-pressure enclosure. These components include pressure tolerant thrusters, drives, batteries, battery management systems and electronics. The company's unique pressure tolerant moulding technology enables 6,000 meter rated encapsulation in silicone instead of oil compensated or titanium pressure housings. The technology results in packaging solutions that are less expensive, more compact, lighter and less prone to underwater corrosion and bio-fouling.
“This strategic investment represents a low risk, but significant ROI opportunity,” said Karl Kenny
, Kraken's President and CEO. “Kraken Power's technology and products enable a significant reduction in bill of material costs for our ThunderFish AUV. In addition, Kraken Power will continue to sell its products to the subsea industry. We plan to leverage Kraken Power's pressure tolerant molding technology into next generation products targeted to deep-sea oil and gas, ocean energy/renewables and ocean science markets.”
Under the agreement, Kraken has taken a 19.9 percent equity interest and provided a €110,000 convertible loan. The loan pays interest at 5 percent per annum and has a term of three years. Through the conversion of the loan to equity and a further investment capped at €200,000, Kraken can choose to increase its ownership stake to 75 percent of the common shares of Kraken Power GmbH.
Kraken's investment triggered the release of additional funding in Germany that will provide Kraken Power with working capital for operations, hiring of additional personnel and funds for the purchase of inventory and capital assets. This is yet another example of how Kraken has used partnerships, small investments, acquisitions and licensing to build a world-class team with innovative technologies for the underwater robotics industry.
Kenny continued, “Kraken Power represents our third significant German technology partnership in 2017. With the establishment of Kraken Robotik GmbH
and a strategic partnering and licensing agreement with Fraunhofer
, Kraken Power represents key additional component capabilities. As we execute our 'Sensors to Systems' strategy, Kraken now has key sensor, software and component technologies in place to be a vertically integrated supplier of high performance, differentiated AUVs and other underwater vehicles.”
“For us, this partnership is a great opportunity,” said Dr. Carl Thiede. “As a leading manufacturer of rim driven thrusters, underwater propulsion and energy supply systems based on pressure tolerant molding technology, we are looking forward to a new chapter of the company's development.”