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Mergers & Acquisitions

Repsol joins firms oiling investment in batteries

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 14:26 -- Hugh Finzel
Ampere ESS

Spanish oil company Repsol has purchased an undisclosed stake in Valencia-based manufacturer of residential battery systems, Ampere Energy.

Repsol will take a seat on Ampere’s board, but financial details of the transaction have not been revealed.

However, Ampere said the deal includes “a technological collaboration agreement… through which synergies will be generated in different projects and innovative initiatives will be developed in the field of energy storage and management”.

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UK battery tech firm added to Shell collection

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Fossil-fuel giant Shell has further extended its reach into the energy storage sector with the acquisition of virtual battery systems operating firm, Limejump.

The purchase by Shell’s New Energies division comes hot on the heels of the multinational’s acquisition of all of the shares in German battery storage firm Sonnen, as reported in last week’s BEST Battery Briefing.

Limejump is a UK-based energy storage management company that describes itself as “the first energy company to trade an aggregated unit and the first to trade batteries in the UK balancing mechanism market”.

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Shell tightens grip on storage with Sonnen takeover

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Fossil fuel giant Shell has acquired 100% of German battery storage firm Sonnen for an undisclosed sum.

The move comes less than a year after Sonnen raised €60 million (US$70.5m) in a financing round led by Shell.

Shell said the deal, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, aimed to “accelerate the building of a customer-focused energy system in support of Shell’s strategy to offer more and cleaner energy solutions to customers”.

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Brookfield upbeat on Power Solutions business

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Cyrus Madon

The new owners of Power Solutions— the batteries business sold last year by Johnson Controls— have told analysts they have “identified opportunities to further enhance the value of the company”.

Brookfield Business Partners, which together with fellow investment firm CDPQ announced a definitive agreement to buy Power Solutions last October, said the company “will continue to be a leading manufacturer of advanced batteries, supplying its global customer base”.

Brookfield CEO Cyrus Madon (pictured) said in a fourth-quarter 2018 update: “Power Solutions’ EBITA (earnings before interest, tax, and amortisation) has increased in all but one of the last 15 years. And that was during the credit crisis and it bounced back immediately in the following year.”

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Corvus strengthens portfolio with Grenland acquisition

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Geir Bjørkeli (left) and Roman Stoiber, CEO at Grenland Energy

Corvus Energy Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire all shares in Norwegian maritime battery manufacturer Grenland Energy, to “offer extended and more specialised solutions and services”.

The acquisition will add “lightweight and subsea batteries” to Corvus’ existing portfolio of over 200MWh of “large-scale maritime energy storage systems”. Grenland’s current operations will continue without interruption.

“We knew that Grenland Energy had technology that would accelerate our long-term strategy by complementing and strengthening our product portfolio”, said Geir Bjørkeli, CEO of Corvus Energy. “The Grenland team will play a vital role in future R&D programmes within the Corvus family and help shape a hub for leading battery technology.”

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Corvus strengthens portfolio with Grenland acquisition

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Geir Bjørkeli (left) and Roman Stoiber, CEO at Grenland Energy

Corvus Energy Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire all shares in Norwegian maritime battery manufacturer Grenland Energy, to “offer extended and more specialised solutions and services”.

The acquisition will add “lightweight and subsea batteries” to Corvus’ existing portfolio of over 200MWh of “large-scale maritime energy storage systems”. Grenland’s current operations will continue without interruption.

“We knew that Grenland Energy had technology that would accelerate our long-term strategy by complementing and strengthening our product portfolio”, said Geir Bjørkeli, CEO of Corvus Energy. “The Grenland team will play a vital role in future R&D programmes within the Corvus family and help shape a hub for leading battery technology.”

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Tesla to acquire Maxwell Technologies

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Dr Franz Fink

Tesla is to acquire Maxwell Technologies, in a deal that values the California-based ultracapacitor firm at around US$218 million.

Maxwell said on 4 February the companies had entered into a definite merger agreement under which Tesla would buy the company's 45.9 million shares for $4.75 a share in an all-stock transaction. The deal represented a 55% premium to the share price, which closed at $3.07 on 1 February.

The merger is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2019 or shortly after, subject to the successful tender and exchange of shares, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

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Freudenberg doubles down on XALT Energy

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is making a “multi-million dollar investment” to take a majority stake in XALT Energy, a Michigan-based developer of lithium-ion energy storage systems.

The announcement comes less than a year after Freudenberg’s initial “multi-million dollar investment”, which gave the company a 31% stake in XALT. Freudenberg cited “increasing demands for lithium-ion battery technology that specifically targets commercial vehicles” as the motivation behind increasing its stake— which gives them a “more than 50% share” of the battery manufacturer.

XALT Energy will retain its name and will become an affiliate brand of the Freudenberg global group, headquartered in Germany. Jess Michalski will take over leadership of XALT from retiring CEO, Richard Cundiff.

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Toyota and Panasonic agree batteries joint venture

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Shigeki Terashi

Japanese compatriots Panasonic and Toshiba have concluded contracts toward setting up a joint venture (JV) company related to the automotive prismatic battery business.

The JV— which is subject to approval by anti-trust chiefs— will cover “research, development, production, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, order receipt, and management”.

Toyota will contribute equipment and personnel in the areas of development and production engineering related to battery cells, while Panasonic will contribute equipment and personnel to support activities including production, development, engineering and manufacturing (at its plants in Japan and Dalian, China).

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SABIC takes majority stake in nanotech firm Black Diamond Structures

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Chemicals group SABIC has taken a majority stake in nanotechnology company Black Diamond Structures (BDS).

BDS produces Molecular Rebar, “a proprietary technology of modified carbon nanotubes” reported to boost the performance of both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.

Molecular Rebar delivers “clean and discrete carbon nanotubes of uniform aspect ratio”, reducing their tendency— in comparison to conventional carbon nanotubes— to get entangled, cake, and hold high residual impurities, BDS said. 

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