Blackbird Group’s acquisition of Power-Sonic signals move into lithium

The acquisition of lead-acid battery company Power-Sonic by the investment management group Blackbird will signal a new venture by the firm into lithium-ion batteries, Brian Crowe, the new head of the battery division, told BESB on January 3.

Power-Sonic, which is headquartered in San Diego, California, was bought by the Blackbird Group on November 21 with financing from Prudential Capital.

It already produces a wide range of sealed lead-acid, lithium iron phosphate, NiCad and nickel metal hydride batteries, and will now expand into lithium-ion and other related chemistries.

“One new, exciting and focus area for development is Power-Sonic’s lithium division,” said Crowe. “Power-Sonic has a portfolio of lithium iron phosphate batteries targeting the medical industry. The plan is to expand the technology portfolio to include lithium-ion and other related chemistries to drive new applications for portable test equipment, remote applications and other requirements for portability, weight and broader temperature ranges.

“Power-Sonic’s goal is not to compete in the industry, but rather lead the industry in new technology and product introduction, while maintaining the quality, integrity and high service levels that separated the Power-Sonic brand over the years as a leader in the industry.”

Power-Sonic operates in more than 70 countries, including the US, Mexico, the UK and France.

Jim Mannebach, who is a managing member of Blackbird, takes over from retiring Power-Sonic founder Guy Clum as CEO. Clum founded the firm in 1970.