Johnson Matthey has sold its automotive battery systems business to US-based engines and gensets manufacturer Cummins— as part of plans to jointly develop “high-energy battery materials”.
JM’s UK-based business is one of Europe's largest lithium-ion battery system suppliers with 50 employees.
Under the terms of the acquisition, JM said the companies had also agreed to collaborate on developing enhanced lithium nickel oxide battery materials for commercial heavy-duty applications.
JM’s CEO Robert MacLeod said: “In divesting our automotive battery systems business to Cummins we can focus on our strategy of expanding our eLNO platform and developing commercial battery materials for the full range of transport applications."
Meanwhile, Cummins can expand its electrification and energy storage capabilities “in its efforts to be a global leader in electrified power”, JM said.
Cummins said the deal gives it capability across the entire range of energy storage options, following its acquisition last October of US-based low-voltage battery pack developer Brammo.
Cummins said it “will continue to explore other opportunities” to add electrification capabilities as it prepares to roll out electrified powertrains to customers in 2019.
BBB reported last November that JM was planning a “substantial” cash injection to boost battery tech manufacturing in 2018, after reporting sales of GBP6.5 billion ($8.9bn) for the six months ended 30 September 2017.