Britishvolt to sell majority stake to secure ‘long-term sustainability’


Britishvolt aims to secure funding for battery R&D and manufacturing businesses in the UK

Prospective battery factory operator is in discussions with investors concerning a potential sale

Britishvolt is in talks to sell a majority stake to a consortium of investors in an effort to secure its future, following months of troubles.

The company said in a statement: “The discussions aim to secure legally binding terms that would provide Britishvolt with the long-term sustainability and funding necessary to enable it to pursue its current plans to build a strong and viable battery-cell R&D and manufacturing business in the UK.”

Britishvolt was previously in talks with Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata Motors, as well as Slovakian battery company Inobat, reported The Guardian and Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of talks.

In November, the company narrowly avoided collapsing after securing several million pounds in funding, reported by the Financial Times to have come from mining firm Glencore.

Combined with a voluntary pay cut for its near-300 staff, this gave Britishvolt sufficient funding to survive until early December.

The company was prepared to enter administration after the UK government rejected a request for £30 million in funding to prevent its collapse.

It has been promised £100m to build its £3.8bn battery gigafactory through the Automotive Transformation Fund, but it has to begin construction work to unlock the cash.

As previously reported, one of the key issues affecting Britishvolt is that it spends around £3m per month on staff pay yet isn’t expected to generate revenue until 2025.

Britishvolt was formed in 2020 with the goal of building a battery gigafactory to supply Britain’s automotive industry from 2023.

However, it’s yet to complete work on its Blyth site – arguably its most valuable asset, given its access to a seaport, renewable energy and proximity to the UK’s automotive heartland.

At the time of writing, the only UK gigafactory to have secured deals with a global cell supplier and a major manufacturer is Envision AESC’s planned expansion at Nissan’s Sunderland factory. It promises an output of 11GWh from 2024, eventually rising to 38GWh, supplying batteries for the replacement for the Nissan Leaf.

Source: Autocar

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