Mitsubishi, Shell, Johnson Matthey Establish Company

January 31, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Mitsubishi Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) Shell Hydrogen BV (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Johnson Matthey plc (London) announced the creation of Conduit Ventures Ltd. (London), Europe's first venture capital company focused on the high-growth area of fuel cells and related hydrogen technologies. Conduit will make investments in companies that have established fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and is seeking further capital for commercial sales and development.

"We believe that fuel cells and related hydrogen technologies have enormous potential to become the fuel technologies of the future. Conduit will concentrate on investments that are at a post-seed/pre-IPO with technology that is close to commercialization," said Don Huberts, CEO of Shell Hydrogen.

"The fuel cell industry is revolutionizing the way power is delivered to all areas of our lives from cars, mobile phones and computers and the delivery of electricity to our homes and work places. Johnson Matthey supplies much of the precious metal materials and technology for fuel cells and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Mitsubishi and Shell in creating a fund with the aim of developing a portfolio of world class investments," said David Morgan, executive director of Johnson Matthey responsible for corporate development.

"Mitsubishi has interests in all areas of the emerging hydrogen economy and we have our own business development plans in fuel-cell-related industries, including development of many different applications for fuel cells. We believe that the combination of our skills with those of Shell and Johnson Matthey will mean that Conduit can create more opportunities to develop well-funded and successful commercialization of new fuel cell industries," said Mr. Hirai, senior manager of the energy business development unit of Mitsubishi.

* Courtesy JCN Newswire.