“Discussion was going on simultaneously” with the two retailers starting late last year, said Plug Power Chief Executive Andy Marsh.
Under the deal announced Friday, Wal-Mart will roll out Plug Power’s forklifts and warehouse vehicles to 10 distribution centers this year, an investment the manufacturer valued at $80 million. Wal-Mart is already Plug Power’s biggest customer, with 5,500 of the company’s units in 22 warehouses.
In April, Amazon agreed to spend $70 million on Plug Power’s vehicles and received rights to buy as many as 55.3 million shares in the company, a 19% stake.
Wal-Mart will receive warrants to purchase the exact same number of shares, though its initial price will be higher than Amazon’s because Plug Power’s stock price has risen 63% since announcing its Amazon deal. Wal-Mart’s potential stake is 17%, Mr. Marsh said.