- Company announces rebranding campaign -
CHANTILLY, VA, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Catch the Wind Ltd. TSX-V: CTW, providers of Optical Control Systems (OCS), announced today that the board of directors have appointed Jo S. Major, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer and have launched a rebranding program to reflect current corporate goals.
President and Chief Executive Officer
The board of directors appointed current interim President and CEO Dr. Major as full-time President and CEO effective immediately.
"Since Jo has taken over the leadership of Catch the Wind, the Company has significantly reduced its operating expenses, established legitimate third party manufacturing, enhanced the operational efficiency and technological capabilities of the OCS, improved vital data collection and improved customer relationships," said David Garman, Director and Chairman of the Governance and Compensation Committee of Catch the Wind. "We are pleased that Jo has agreed to continue to lead the Company, as he has clearly demonstrated his leadership qualities over the past 10 months."
"I'm very grateful that Hunter Hall introduced me to Catch the Wind in the spring of 2011," said Dr. Major. "The Company has shown fundamental strength, establishing technical independence and is doing a great job building relationships with customers based upon transparency and execution. The market opportunity is truly compelling and the entire team is energized to transform the potential into a large, thriving and profitable business. This is a unique chance to grow a business that can, in such a substantial way, play a significant role in improving the performance of the wind industry, a primary source of renewable energy."
Dr. Major attended the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he earned his B.S. M.S. and Ph.D., as an Intel Fellow, in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, he joined Spectra Diode Labs, (SDL), a Silicon Valley start-up specializing in high-power semiconductor lasers. His work in the research group produced a number of patents and commercial products, including the first commercially viable pump lasers for optical telecom systems. Dr. Major had a variety of roles within SDL, ultimately running the business unit responsible for telecommunications products. Based largely upon the explosive growth of the products of his business unit, SDL was sold to JDS Uniphase in late 2000.
Within JDSU, he restructured the global optical components group and returned them to healthy growth and financial performance. This work, which took him throughout North America, Europe and Asia, eventually led him to the CEO position at Avanex, a Nasdaq telecommunications equipment supplier in deep financial difficulties. Over the four years that he was at the helm of Avanex, it became the most profitable company in its class earning the Deloitte and Touche "Fast 500" awards in 2004 and 2007, and the "Technology Fast 50" award in 2007.
Dr. Major co-founded InSite Partners in 2008 with a strong desire to support and grow technology businesses. Of particular interest are companies that seek to improve the human condition, including renewable energy and communication systems. Dr. Major also serves as a Director for Source Photonics, a Francisco Partners company in which InSite Partners is a minority equity owner.
The appointment of Dr. Major was part of a larger agreement with InSite Partners, LLC. Within this agreement, Major will serve as President and CEO with other members of the InSite team serving in a variety of executive roles.
Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, InSite Partners specializes in hands-on corporate turnarounds and strategic transactions of technology companies. The InSite team has deep domain experience in the Telecom, Millimeter-Wave, RF, Mixed-Signal, Solar, and Wind markets. The InSite team has successfully unlocked shareholder value in technology firms from start-ups to public companies with over $1B per year in revenue.
Founded in 2008, the firm is known for its distinctive technical heritage, hands-on approach and relentless focus on execution and results.
Marla Sanchez, CFO and General Partner for InSite, commented, "Our prior experience in optical systems and the wind market showed us that an exciting potential market existed. The work over the last ten months has allowed us to understand the team, technology and customer base. Our conviction is that this is the right place to build value." Sanchez continued, "The agreement has been structured to provide CTW with seasoned executive talent while recognizing the limitations that early stage companies have for cash payments, and to align InSite with the investors in the Company, where InSite only achieves significant financial gain in the case of overall corporate success as measured by share price and corporate value."
The agreement includes cash compensation and warrants. In addition, InSite has obligations to invest into CTW on terms equal to other investors on any near-term capital raise. Finally, the agreement provides InSite with rights to invest at terms equal to other investors in CTW for the next three years.
The cash compensation is approximately $1,100,000 over the first year. All cash compensation is deferred for the short term, with regular monthly payments only beginning at the earlier of six months or a significant fund-raising.
After reaching that milestone, the cash compensation is broken equally into two parts. The first part is simply paid monthly. The second part accrues and is deferred for as long as three years with that portion of the cash compensation increasing or decreasing relative to corporate value, with InSite assuming downside risk in the case that the corporate value decreases.
InSite will be granted warrants to purchase up to 4,000,000 common shares of the Company, exercisable for a period of 3 years following the issuance date at an exercise price equal to the closing market price of the Company's common shares on the trading day immediately prior to the issuance date. The warrants will vest in equal monthly tranches, and all unvested portions of the warrant will be cancelled if the Company's terminates the InSite Agreement. The issuance of the warrants is subject to receipt of the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Details of the InSite agreement will be available at www.sedar.com.
Re-branding of Name and Products
Catch the Wind also announced today that it will be rebranding its name and company products in order to reflect the current corporate culture and high standard of quality of its current and future product mix.
"We have made many changes as to how we operate and to the performance of the products we offer the wind industry," said Dr. Major. "We believe in transparency with our investors and customers; we have an obsession to understand and meet the needs of our customers and believe in a concentrated focus on operational execution as the primary tool to provide long-term gain to our investors and customers. We will build a corporate brand, and corporate symbols, to convey these goals."
On a somewhat related note, CTW has also received notice from Optical Air Data Systems LLC ("OADS") that OADS is purporting to terminate the Licensing Agreement with CTW. The Company no longer considers the Licensing Agreement to be material to its operations, due to the fact that loss of the Licensing Agreement would be limited to the loss of use of the trademarks licensed to CTW, and those trademarks are being abandoned within the rebranding program.
About Catch the Wind Ltd.
Catch the Wind Ltd. is a high-growth technology company headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia. The company was founded in 2008 to develop and manufacture the OCS.
The OCS is a "next generation" wind turbine control system for utility-scale wind turbines. From its position on top of the nacelle, the OCS simultaneously measures wind speed and direction in the free stream inflow ahead of the turbine and uses this information to optimize wind turbine performance, increasing energy output and reducing damaging stress loads.
Catch the Wind is focused upon the optical wind sensor systems, and using the data produced by these sensors to enable highly efficient control systems. The Company is focused on becoming a major contributor in making clean, renewable wind energy more affordable and profitable. For more information, please visit www.catchthewindinc.com.
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release, include, but are not limited to, economic performance and future plans and objectives of Catch the Wind. Any number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements as well as future results. Although Catch the Wind believes that the assumptions and factors used in making the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed timeframes or at all. Catch the Wind disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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