PWR POWERS UP PLANS FOR ASX LISTING
Written on the 4 September 2015 by Nick Nichols
THE Gold Coast-based company that supplies high performance cooling systems for the world's top car racing teams is steering a path to the ASX with plans to list later this year.
PWR Performance Products, whose customers include racing teams in Formula 1, V8 Supercars, NASCAR and World Rally Championships, says an IPO is aimed at positioning PWR for growth in both domestic and international markets.
Details of the listing or how much the company is expected to be worth have yet to be disclosed.
However, the move is targeted at broadening the company's reach to include markets as diverse as the military and renewable energy, a sector it is already exploring with a subsidiary of Google.
Over the past 18 years, PWR Performance Products has built a solid international reputation as a supplier of high-tech cooling systems, with seven of the 10 teams in Formula 1 using its precision equipment.
In that time PWR, has developed a highly skilled workforce at its Ormeau factory where it develops, manufactures and wind-tunnel tests those products.
Company founder and managing director Kees Weel (pictured) says demand for the company's products continues to grow as motorsports teams and car manufacturers, keen to improve performance and cut emissions, look to generate more power from smaller engines.
"We design and custom build cooling solutions for the best motorsports teams in the world's most competitive and technically demanding race series," Weel says.
"The technology typically shifts from elite motorsports to automotive enthusiasts and then into mass production car manufacturing. That is a significant opportunity for us to leverage our motor racing know-how and grow the business in Australia and overseas."
In recent years PWR has expanded its operations to Mooresville and Indianapolis in the US and Tamworth in the UK.
The UK and Europe account for 60 per cent of the company's sales, while about 25 per cent comes from the US.
PWR boosted its market position earlier this year after acquiring US competitor C&R Racing in the US which the company sees as a major step towards boosting its share of the US auto racing and automotive aftermarket sectors.
However, Weel also sees broader opportunity to apply the company's skills to a range of emerging industries.
The company's scope for growth has been expanded in recent years with a move in 2013 to assist Google renewable energy subsidiary Makani Power to develop cooling solutions for its energy kite, which is a 'floating' wind turbine that operates as high as 310 metres.
As well as focusing on its traditional automotive markets, PWR also plans to explore opportunities with hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as trucks, buses and military vehicle and emerging technologies in energy storage and electronics.
With its plans for an IPO at a preliminary stage, PWR has armed itself with a new-look board to tackle the task ahead.
Bob Thorn, a former managing director of Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) and non-executive director of Myer, has been appointed chairman.
Also new to the board is Jeff Forbes, former CFO of Cardno (ASX:CDD) and non-executive director of Affinity Education Group (ASX:AFJ), and Teresa Handicott, a former partner and chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
The company has appointed Morgans, PwC and Corrs Chambers Westgarth to advise on its options for the expansion funding, with an ASX listing at the top of the list.
This week's announcement comes on the heels of a group of institutional investors visiting the company's Gold Coast facility earlier this year.
Author: Nick Nichols