Tritium completes reverse stock split to keep Nasdaq hopes alive

Tritium completes reverse stock split to keep Nasdaq hopes alive

Tritium's EMC (electro-magnetic compatability) testing chambers in Brisbane.

Electric vehicle (EV) fast-charger group Tritium (Nasdaq: DCFC) has successfully completed a 200-to-one reverse stock split to keep shares above the $1 minimum required by the market regulator, which last month ordered the Brisbane-headquartered company to delist

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of a scheme to consolidate shares, which was made effective overnight in the US (2 April) as Tritium seeks to overturn the delisting ruling with an appeal due to take place with the Nasdaq Hearings Panel.

The reverse stock split meant that shares shot up 12,975 per cent from US$0.05 to US$8.98 when the market opened, but since then their value has slid by more than a fifth down to US$7.84.

The former unicorn's market capitalisation had already collapsed to US$9.8 million when the delisting order was made, and despite the technical restructure to prop up shares the value of Tritium has now declined further to US$6 million.

With its origins dating back to 2001 when its founders Dr David Finn, Paul Sernia and James Kennedy developed a lightweight motor control technology for a solar racing team competing in outback Australia, Tritium started out as an engineering consulting firm with a range of specialties from hydroelectric power stations to storage systems for green buildings.

But in 2012 the trio were asked to create a robust, weatherproof DC (direct current) fast charger for electric vehicles, leading to the development of its breakthough liquid-cooled, weather sealed 50kW RT50 DC fast charger - the most compact to date at the time.

The technology continued to evolve and Tritium adopted a more global outlook, opening its first international office in California in 2017 and releasing its new modular line of fast chargers in 2020.

With the support of cornerstone investor Trevor St Baker, among others, a state-of-the-art testing facility was launched the following year at its Brisbane headquarters, featuring one of the highest-power commercially accessible EMC (electro-magnetic compatability) testing chambers in the world that is designed to deliver up to 720kW of regenerative power from its integrated system with fully integrated AC and DC power feeds. 

2022 was a milestone year for Tritium as it listed on Wall Street and its CEO Jane Hunter took part in a press conference with US President Joe Biden to highlight the expected economic impact from a new Tritium facility in Tennessee that would lead to a nationwide roll-out of chargers.

However, its financial results have fallen well short of forecasts amidst difficulties in the supply chain and with the maintenance of the chargers themselves, which have been canned by electric vehicle users at home in Australia.

On the condition of anonymity, former ex-Tritium employees told Carexpert.com.au that design flaws in the chargers were "ignored", staff were not being trained properly on the assembly line, and consumer feedback was neglected. 

To keep costs under control, late last year the group axed hundreds of jobs at its Brisbane factory in a bid to achieve profitability in 2024. In March last year, Hunter had told Business News Australia that Tritium employed around 1,000 staff worldwide, of which close to 600 were in Brisbane including 150 in operational roles at the factory.

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