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August 5, 2016

INCON completes acquisition in $1M cash asset deal

Courtesy / INCON Power Reliability Systems
Courtesy / INCON Power Reliability Systems
Travis Wood, director of business development at INCON Power Reliability Systems of Saco, which recently closed a $1 million cash asset purchase of GridSense Inc. of Colorado.

Franklin Electric Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: FELE), an Indiana-based maker of submersible electric motors and other products, said its INCON Power Reliability Systems subsidiary in Saco has completed its acquisition of GridSense Inc., a Colorado corporation specializing in advanced remote monitoring solutions for distribution transformers and lines.

GridSense was a subsidiary of Acorn Energy Inc. (OTCQB: ACFN). The deal closed July 12. The GridSense products will now be sold through INCON Power Reliability Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Electric. INCON and the business and the engineering team for Franklin Fueling Systems are both in Saco.

"The acquisition was an asset deal for $1 million in cash," Travis Wood, director of business development at INCON, wrote to Mainebiz in response to an email query. "GridSense generated revenue of $2.5 million in 2015. We have hired back most of the remaining personnel, who will continue to work at the Sacramento, Calif., facility."

Wood said two product lines will be added to INCON's portfolio, the TIQ (Transformer IQ) transformer monitor for real-time, continuous intelligence for distribution transformers and LIQ (Line IQ), a solar-powered line sensor that determines fault location for power restoration.

"GridSense products are adaptive and easily retrofit to legacy assets. This niche is very familiar to us and fits with our mission," Wood said in a prepared statement when the sale was concluded. "In addition to expanding our monitoring offering within our core utility substation markets, the product range gives us access downstream toward the end customer where there is excellent growth potential over the next several years."

INCON specializes in advanced remote monitoring solutions for high voltage circuit breakers in substations and load tap changers found on large power transformers.

The $1 million gross sales price for GridSense's assets follows Acorn's April 21, 2016 announcement of its intention to liquidate its GridSense business as Acorn refocused its business.

Acorn noted at the close of the sale that it expected the proceeds, after transaction costs and an indemnity escrow of $100,000, to be allocated by an independent liquidation officer to satisfy, to the extent of the funds available, the claims of GridSense creditors, including Acorn, which is GridSense's largest creditor.

According to Acorn, while GridSense did generate revenue of $2.5 million in 2015, it had not generated profits or positive cash flow for Acorn in the recent past. GridSense was reported as a discontinued operation in Acorn's first-quarter results this year.

"We view the sale to Franklin Electric as the best possible outcome for both Acorn and the GridSense team. The sale aligns GridSense with a strong company, platform and resources that are focused on serving the utility industry," Acorn's CEO Jan Loeb said in a statement when the sale closed.

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