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Mergers & Acquisitions

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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Posco shake-up bid to boost materials sales

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korea’s Posco is set to merge two of its business units to boost its global share of the battery materials market.

Posco’s board is expected to approve the merger of its Chemtech and ESM lithium-ion cathode materials divisions next month— on condition that no more than 20% of shareholders object.

If approved, the merger would take place in April 2019. Chemtech would integrate all group R&D capabilities for cathode materials to “fully develop next-generation cutting-edge products, while also promoting sales expansion”.

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BMZ takes control of TerraE to launch German cell production ‘by 2020’

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Sven Bauer

Lithium-ion developer and producer BMZ has taken control of German peer TerraE Holding, in a move to cement Germany’s position as a future leader in European battery cell manufacturing.

BMZ, which describes itself as Europe’s largest producer of lithium-ion battery systems, said taking majority ownership was part of plans to launch battery cells production in Germany by 2020.

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Enersys powers into telecoms with Alpha Technologies deal

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
David Shaffer

Lead-acid battery maker Enersys is to acquire the US-based Alpha Technologies in a US$750 million deal to create “the only complete power solution provider for broadband, telecom and energy storage systems”.

Enersys said it had entered into an agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding shares and certain assets of select entities belonging to the Alpha Technologies group of companies.

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Monbat drops plans to acquire control of Assad

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Assad battery

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has dropped plans to buy a majority stake in Tunisian lead firm Assad.

The decision to scrap the deal, announced last year, came amid reports of an alleged pending legal case concerning the land on which Assad built its production plant— and concern that Monbat would be unable to retain control of an Assad subsidiary in Algeria because of proceedings in that country.

Monbat declined to comment in detail, but a spokesperson said: “In the course of the final stage of the due diligence of L’accumulateur Tunisiene Assad, there were subsequent matters disclosed which are challenging the originally expected value creation and are increasing Monbat’s level of enterprise risk.”

Other projects being financed by Monbat’s recent corporate bond issue are under way and an update will be issued to investors in due course, the Sofia-based company said in a filing with Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission.

Monbat said it would “sustain its investment selectivity and focus on those business projects in the current pipeline, which provide the best match between return and operational risk”.

Assad, founded in 1974, designs, manufacturers, distributes and recycles lead-acid batteries for applications, including automotive, marine, solar, industry and telecoms.

Assad has reported a combined annual production capacity of 1.2 million batteries. The firm’s recycling arm was launched in 2002 to recycle around 10,000 tons of used batteries from the Tunisian market each year.

Monbat was founded in 1959, privatised in 1998 and is now a leading European battery producer. The company has production and recycling plants in three countries and exports worldwide.

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Monbat drops plans to acquire control of Assad

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has dropped plans to buy a majority stake in Tunisian lead firm Assad.

The decision to scrap the deal, announced last year, came amid reports of an alleged pending legal case concerning the land on which Assad built its production plant— and concern that Monbat would be unable to retain control of an Assad subsidiary in Algeria because of proceedings in that country.

Monbat declined to comment in detail, but a spokesperson said: “In the course of the final stage of the due diligence of L’accumulateur Tunisiene Assad, there were subsequent matters disclosed which are challenging the originally expected value creation and are increasing Monbat’s level of enterprise risk.”

The full story is only available in our FREE weekly industry newsletter, so sign-up to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday.
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