Toyota seeks additional funding for fuel cell research image

The world’s largest automaker and Japan’s biggest company, Toyota Motor, seems intent on pushing the fuel cell technology past infancy.

The company has announced a strategy that would see it replacing common shares worth 500 billion yen ($4.2 billion) into unlisted equity with transfer limitations, in a bid to secure the long-haul funding power needed for the research and development of new technologies, particularly fuel cells. The carmaker intends to offer 150 million “Model AA” shares for purchase, a filling to Japan’s Finance Ministry showed. The stock will yield at least 20 percent higher return than common stock would, with Toyota saying the proceeds are needed as the company researches and develops new technologies, including hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. The shares will carry a trading limitation for around half a decade- though potential investors will still be attracted to the stock sale because they have the option to gain a bigger dividend, to sell them back at the issue quotation at the end of the restricted period or convert them in a higher number of common stock shares.

The company statement said the automaker will have the stock sale approved at its annual shareholder meeting set for June, selling as many as 50 million shares immediately after the strategy’s acceptance. The rest of the stock sale has no detailed timeframe – but the company believes one batch will come yearly throughout the five-year period. Toyota has embraced fuel cell car development with the series production of the Mirai model, instead of the “traditional” battery powered electrics common today, with President Akio Toyoda claiming the car as the model for the next 100 years.

Via Automotive News