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Have you read about American Superconductor's latest acquisition? Not long ago I read several posts bemoaning the "fact" that the company had put other market segments on the back burner and was only concentrating on PQ's. A few excerpts from today's press release indicate otherwise.

MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 5, 2000--American Superconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC - news) announced today that it has acquired the assets of Integrated Electronics, LLC, a Milwaukee-based private company for shares of American Superconductor Common Stock and cash valued in aggregate at approximately $2 million. Integrated Electronics designs, develops and manufactures power electronic converters that utilize state-of-the-art power semiconductors.

Integrated Electronics has been one of American Superconductor's co-developers and suppliers of advanced power electronic converter modules for use in the company's superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) product line, manufactured in Madison, WI. Power electronic converters are key components in SMES systems. American Superconductor anticipates installing over 1,000 of the new power electronic modules in its SMES product line during the next two years.

``Integrated Electronics considerably strengthens our internal power electronics technology base,' said Greg Yurek, American Superconductor's chief executive officer. ``This acquisition allows us to enhance the economics of our SMES business today and opens the door to additional revenue growth through the application of this advanced power electronics technology in other market segments.'

American Superconductor estimates that the market for power electronic converters today exceeds $1 billion. Power electronic converters are widely used in the electric power, transportation, industrial, and defense sectors to condition and control power. Industry experts estimate that more than 20 percent of all power generated in the U.S. goes through power electronic converters and that this amount will increase with the increased demand for more reliable power.

``The new power converter modules we have co-developed with American Superconductor have the highest power density at the lowest cost of anything on the market today for handling power over 100 kilowatts,' commented Jeff Reichard, an owner and chief executive of Integrated Electronics. ``We have jointly mapped out a path to higher-power, lower-cost modules that I believe will give us an additional competitive advantage in the market for converters.'

The company's future applications of its power electronic products may include electric motor drives; transportation systems such as locomotives, ships, electric or hybrid electric vehicles; distributed generating equipment, including fuel cells and micro-turbines; and energy storage applications such as flywheels and batteries.

You tell me, is any other superconducting company even close to being competitive in any of these fields? The beauty of American Superconductor's business model and vision is that the management is doing what is necessary to make it a reality. And it surely doesn't hurt to be in the financial position to make it happen.

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