7 October 2021
Transphorm’s strategic partner Yaskawa converts $15.6m of debt into common stock
Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA — which designs and manufactures JEDEC- and AEC-Q101-qualified gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications — says that Yaskawa Electric Corp of Kitakyushu, Japan (a manufacturer of low- and medium-voltage variable-frequency drives, servo motors, machine controllers and industrial robots with over $3.7bn in annual revenues) has converted 100% of its $15.6m Transphorm convertible notes into shares of common stock at $5 per share.
Transphorm and Yaskawa continue to work together in the previously announced multi-year partnership (expanded last December) for the development of GaN products for servo drives for robotics and motion control as well as a broader range of industrial and white-goods applications. Yaskawa intends to use Transphorm’s GaN power device products for a variety of industrial power conversion applications, initially with servo motor and variable-frequency drive applications.
“We are pleased to become shareholders of Transphorm as we continue to collaborate in the development of highly reliable, higher-power GaN products, suitable for a variety of motion control applications,” says Akira Kumagae, chief technology officer & managing executive officer of Yaskawa Electric. “The higher-frequency, highly efficient GaN power devices and modules that will be made possible with Transphorm’s GaN FET solutions will also meet stringent system requirements like short-circuit protection ability,” he adds.
“Transphorm greatly values its long-term relationship with Yaskawa and is delighted to add a worldwide leader in motion control and robotics such as Yaskawa as a strategic shareholder,” comments Transphorm’s co-founder & CTO Umesh Mishra. “Yaskawa continues to help shape key developments in Transphorm’s GaN roadmap, resulting in high-performance power devices for industrial and motor control markets.”
The conversion of the Transphorm debt also adds more than $17m of positive shareholder equity to the firm’s balance sheet, based on fair market value estimates. Following this investment, Yaskawa will own about 3.1 million shares of Transphorm, representing an ownership stake of approximately 7%.
“The equity conversion significantly strengthens our balance sheet and is a key contributor toward the execution of the company’s previously announced plans to uplist its shares of common stock to the NASDAQ,” says co-founder & president Primit Parikh. “It also underlines the strength of Transphorm’s leading high-voltage GaN platform with products ramping in applications ranging from 45W to 10kW with the highest levels of quality and reliability,” he adds. “To date we have not seen any other competitive GaN platform cover this broad range of power levels or applications and that are actually in production, and many other existing offerings with GaN such as ‘ICs’ are typically limited to sub-500W.”