Duracell has been in the wireless charging business for quite a while now with its myGrid devices, but it's about to make a fairly drastic change of course. Its parent company, Proctor & Gamble, announced today with Powermat that the two companies intend to form a new joint venture in an effort to "advance and globalize wireless charging." That new venture will be called Duracell Powermat, and it's expected to begin operation early next year. As a result of the new arrangement, P&G also intends to make an equity investment in Powermat, although there's no word yet on how the deal will affect everyone's favorite pun-based superhero, Power Matt. The official press release is after the break.
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Procter & Gamble and Powermat Join Forces to Advance and Globalize Wireless Charging
Leaders of wireless power and consumer products align to propel fast growing consumer category globally


BETHEL, Conn. & NEW YORK, Sep 14, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Procter & Gamble Company and Powermat Ltd., the pioneer and leader in wireless charging, today announced that they intend to form a joint venture (JV) to bring the most innovative and compelling wireless power products to consumers around the world. As part of the strategic alliance between P&G's Duracell brand and Powermat, P&G also expects to make an equity investment in Powermat.

The last decade has seen a sharp growth of smart portable devices, which have become a critical part of our lives. Unfortunately, these same devices have become ever more power hungry, creating the need for a wireless charging technology that keeps those devices 'always ready'.

It is expected that the JV will begin operation early next year. The JV will harness the capabilities of P&G and Powermat to fulfill this common vision through unrivaled innovation and global reach. In combining P&G's strong consumer understanding, brand-building and go-to- market capabilities with Powermat's breakthrough technology, the JV will deliver an ecosystem of best-in-class wireless power solutions, under the aegis of the foremost brands in the field of portable power: Duracell and Powermat.

Wireless charging became a reality with Powermat's retail product launch in 2009, and has gained momentum since then, with millions of consumers joining the wireless power revolution. As part of this ever strengthening wave, Powermat has been chosen by General Motors and will be integrated into its cars as of 2012. Furthermore, Powermat is expanding its technology into public spaces, office furniture and major appliances. The JV's products will seamlessly interoperate with this burgeoning ecosystem.

"Several decades ago, Duracell was a pioneer in a new revolutionary product category, alkaline roundcell batteries," said Stassi Anastassov, Duracell President. "Today it is a multi-billion dollar category. In a not too distant future, we expect wireless power solutions to eliminate the hassle of multiple cords and chargers, creating a major growth opportunity. Innovation to create new solutions that touch and improve people's lives is what P&G-Duracell are all about. The JV between Duracell and Powermat puts us in the driver-seat for this disruptive category creation."

IHS iSuppli, an electronic component researcher and trend forecaster, has estimated that the worldwide retail market for wireless charging will be a multi-billion dollar market by 2015. "Powermat and P&G joining forces makes so much sense," says Marijana Vukicevic, Senior Principal Power Management Analyst at IHS. "Adoption of wireless power is growing fast, and the marriage of a proven technology like Powermat's with the global marketing muscles of P&G promises to propel consumer adoption faster yet."

Ran Poliakine, CEO of Powermat agreed: "Alkaline batteries, led by Duracell, really were one of the first wireless power sources to gain worldwide adoption by the consumer. The promise of wireless power is similarly transformational, and there is no partner more capable than Duracell -- and its parent, P&G -- to help turn this vision into a reality."

About Powermat Powermat, Ltd. is pioneering the wireless power revolution. The first company to bring wireless power to consumers in a widely available, meaningful way via mainstream retail channels, Powermat is leading the charge in helping consumers lose the cords. As the dominant market leader, Powermat's technology is scalable and embeddable, allowing it to be built directly into electronics of all kinds as well as almost any surface to create wireless energy "hubs" within homes, automobiles, airports, offices and other venues. For more information, please visit www.powermat.com .

About Duracell Part of the Procter & Gamble Company /quotes/zigman/238894/quotes/nls/pg PG +0.21% , Duracell has been powering people around the world for more than 40 years. Duracell products serve as the heart of devices that keep people connected, protect their families, entertain them and simplify their increasingly mobile lifestyles. As the world's leading manufacturer of high-performance alkaline batteries, Duracell also innovates in lighting, renewable power and wireless charging technologies to help consumers live life without limits.

About Procter & Gamble P&G touches and improves the lives of about 4.4 billion people around the world with its portfolio of trusted, quality brands. The Company's leadership brands include Pampers(R), Tide(R), Ariel(R), Always(R), Whisper(R), Pantene(R), Mach3(R), Bounty(R), Dawn(R), Fairy(R), Gain(R), Pringles(R), Charmin(R), Downy(R), Lenor(R), Iams(R), Crest(R), Oral-B(R), Duracell(R), Olay(R), Head & Shoulders(R), Wella(R), Gillette(R), Braun(R), Fusion(R), Ace(R), Febreze(R), and Ambi Pur(R). With operations in about 80 countries, P&G brands are available in more than 180 countries worldwide. Please visit www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

SOURCE: Procter & Gamble