BritishVolt sits on the brink

BritishVolt sits on the brink

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK battery gigafactory startup BritishVolt is reported to have raised funding to prevent its collapse into administration.

The company has been unable to access parts of the funding from the UK, leaving it in a precarious financial position. It has three development projects for test cells for customers, including next generation silicon battery cells, that have yet to lead to firm orders.

Funding, reported to be £5m from existing investor, mining giant Glencore, is intended to see the company through to additional deals or a sale. Over 300 staff have also taken a pay cut.

A deal around the site for the factory in Blythe Northumberland with Tritax and investment fund abrdn to raise additional funds has not yet been completed.

“”It would be entirely wrong to talk about a set number of weeks like it’s some doomsday clock ticking down,” Peter Rolton, chair of BritishVolt, told the BBC at the site. “Let’s just say we’ve got a reasonable runway of funding in place with our supporters and we’re working absolutely tirelessly to turn this around and get more funding in.”

Co-founder, Orral Nadjari, stepped down in August after multiple delays to the project, leaving Dr Graham Hoare as Acting CEO.

Back in May, the company announced a deal to buy German battery cell EAS  for €36m from the Monbat Group, a maker of lead acid batteries in Bulgaria. Monbat was to take a minority stake in BritishVolt alongside Glencore. It also has an initial deal with German supplier Manz for the equipment for the factory.

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