Britishvolt to sell majority stake to stay afloat
Britishvolt, the battery maker currently in financial dire straits, can apparently still fulfil its plans for a battery cell factory in Blyth in the north-east of England, just not on its own. The company is talking about a possible sale to secure its future.
Britishvolt now reveals that it is in talks with a consortium of investors about selling a majority stake in the company. This will enable “long-term sustainability and funding necessary to enable it to pursue” the manufacture of batteries in the UK. Names of potential investors have not been disclosed.
Britishvolt has simply said: “The two parties will provide further details at the appropriate time and have nothing further to add at this stage.” Britishvolt narrowly avoided bankruptsy in October after it secured £5m from its cobalt supplier Glencore, who was already an investor. Glencore also has a battery recycling joint venture with Britishvolt.
Earlier in November, it became clear that the company was facing insolvency, then that it had been able to secure a financial bridge. Britishvolt itself stated on 3 November 2022 that it had “secured the necessary short-term investments which we believe will enable us to bridge the coming weeks to a more secure funding position for the future”.
Britishvolt has struggled to find investors to fund the construction of its planned cell factory in Blyth. Plans have already been postponed everal times. The plant was originally meant to be commissioned at the end of 2023. The commissioning was first postponed to the end of 2024 and then to mid-2025. The reasons given for the latest postponement were “difficult external economic headwinds, including runaway inflation and rising interest rates”.
Britishvolt announced that its founder and CEO Orral Nadjari was stepping down in August 2022 among mounting reports of financing problems.
The factory project was first announced in 2020, and in December of the same year, Blyth was confirmed as the location of the battery factory. Since then, the company has entered into numerous raw material and development partnerships, including with German companies such as Siemens and Manz. Construction work has been underway since the autumn of 2021.
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