Britishvolt buys German battery maker

Britishvolt buys German battery maker

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK battery Gigafactory developer Britishvolt has signed a deal to buy a German battery cell maker.

The sale and purchase agreement (SPA) will see the company acquire the battery cell developer and manufacturer EAS for €36m from the Monbat Group, a maker of lead acid batteries in Bulgaria. Monbat will also take a minority stake in Britishvolt alongside mining giant Glencore.

EAS is based in Nordhausen (above) and is a pioneer in developing and producing large format cylindrical lithium-ion cells using innovative and compact electrode production technology with capacities from 7.5 Ah to 50 Ah. The company uses a proprietary production technology to guarantee the highest quality standards for its high power and energy cells at the lowest environmental impact.

Britishvolt says it intends to invest further in EAS to expand its advanced battery cell technology strengths. This is a key step to confirming the prismatic and cylindrical battery technologies will be produced by Britishvolt and is the second acquisition after a process technology startup call Potential Realisation in Coventry, UK. The company has deals with Manz and Siemens UK for process equipment and AMTE Power and Entek for battery technology and materials.

“Our 46xx cell format, developed as part of our wider R&D program, gives Britishvolt a significant competitive advantage in the battery race,” said Orral Nadjari, Founder and CEO of Britishvolt, which is planning to build a factory in Blythe in the northeast of the UK.

“The acquisition of EAS will allow us to scale up the final part of the 46xx cell development and commercialization programme and put this leading cell product in the hands of our automotive customers. Exactly the cell solution they have been seeking in terms of next-generation, high-performance and long range battery technology,” he said.

“Following on from our recent announcement of a development roadmap to marine battery solutions, EAS will also facilitate getting battery systems to this particular market segment quicker and help the pathway to decarbonisation.”

“EAS has a proven track record in providing innovative, tailor-made battery cell solutions for its customers, and it makes strategic sense so that we join forces and grow together. We intend to make additional investments in EAS to help to ensure that it can reach its full potential within the Britishvolt family.”

EAS battery solutions have been adopted for aerospace and defense, submarine and marine, and automotive applications in Europe, Asia and North America, and prominent business partners such as NASA are already powered by the company’s cells.

“Britishvolt and EAS are united by common goals. We share a vision, and due to the high synergies, both companies are accelerating their mutual growth,” said Michael Deutmeyer, Managing Director, of EAS. “For EAS and its customers, the focus is on greater capacities in the development and production of innovative cells and battery systems. We are expanding our know-how, deepening our ecological and resource-saving approach in production and enlarging our team. At the same time, we are supporting Britishvolt as a leader in battery cell technology in its focus on international growth.

“The deal structure fully supports the roadmap for the development of EAS and the Monbat Group,” said Victor Spiriev, CEO of Monbat AD. “Monbat will continue to be part of the expected growth of the lithium-ion industry through the minority stake that the Group will hold in Britishvolt. We believe Britishvolt is the right partner that has the necessary resources to become a leader in providing lithium-ion solutions for electrified transportation and energy storage. The synergies between EAS and Britishvolt will further contribute to add value to the new owner, their shareholders and partners.”

Britishvolt’s acquisition of EAS is expected to be completed soon, subject to any necessary regulatory approvals.

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