Britishvolt bought out of administration by Australian battery firm

Australian battery tech firm Recharge Industries has bought the failed battery manufacturing company Britishvolt out of administration.

The British start-up looked to have finally collapsed in January as it filed for administration, resulting in more than 200 job losses.

The company, which had planned to build a £4bn plant near the Port of Blyth in Northumberland for the production of lithium-ion batteries, has now been taken over by Recharge Industries, a leading provider of battery technology, specialising in production and research and development.

Based in Geelong, Australia, the firm is currently developing Australia’s first large-scale lithium-ion cell production facility to provide safer, more efficient and recyclable batteries, as well as investing in research and development of next-generation solutions to real-world and emerging energy storage solutions.

The Australian company is owned by the New York-based investment fund Scale Facilitation.

Under plans presented by Recharge Industries, the Britishvolt project “will make the UK’s first Gigafactory a reality, creating a strategic economic and security asset which will play a critical role in the UK’s industrial and net zero strategies.”

Commenting on the successful bid, David A. Collard, Founder and CEO of Scale Facilitation said: “We are thrilled to have been successful in our bid for ownership of Britishvolt; our plans are the right ones for the local community and the UK economy.

“Our proposal combined our financial, commercial, technology and manufacturing capabilities, with a highly credible plan to put boots and equipment on the ground quickly.

“Our technology – including an exclusive license for the intellectual property and battery technology – has been developed and validated over the last decade through C4V in the US and will be the backbone of both gigafactories in Geelong and Cambois.

“Backed by our global supply chain, strategic delivery partners and a number of significant customer agreements in place, we’re confident of making the Cambois Gigafactory a success and growing it into an advanced green energy project. We can’t wait to get started and want to start as soon as possible.

“The North East of England has a real depth of history and talent in manufacturing and engineering. I recently spent time in the area to get to know the people and the site, and I was struck by the similarities to our Recharge Industries™ site in Geelong, Australia.

“I was really taken by the passion and pride that the people have for the region and their determination to get behind a project that can drive lasting change. We have the right plan in place, to match and support the region’s energy and ambition to become a major player in the international battery market.

“We would like to thank all of our global advisors who worked tirelessly with us to deliver this transaction. From Australia, KordaMentha and 333 Capital who led the negotiation as the Lead Financial and Restructuring Advisor; the London team from Sidley Austin LLP as Legal Counsel and PricewaterhouseCoopers as our Global Tax Advisors.”

Scale Facilitation UK-based advisor, Edward Dawes OBE said “It is tremendous that we have been able to secure this advanced battery facility for the UK. Working with our closest allies, America and Australia, and using world-leading and proven technology, now we can take Britishvolt forward with real purpose.

“Scale Facilitation and Recharge Industries have put in place a hugely talented and experienced team, who are looking forward to moving this project on at pace, aligned to strategically important regional, national and international supply chains. This is good for the UK, good for the employees who are in limbo and good for British consumers.”

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