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Funding crisis kills Atraverda

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Atraverda has gone into administration after failing to secure working capital to continue production.

The bipolar battery maker based in Wales, UK, appointed James Cowper as administrator on 20th December 2012 following a notice of intent in the High Court in London on 17th December.

Out of 44 employees, 37 were made redundant on 21st December including Chief Executive, Graham Ryan and Chief Business Development Officer, Andrew Loyns. A core staff of seven will be retained in technical roles to continue production when a suitable buyer has been found.

The company has been on the verge of mass-producing a bipolar battery that uses less lead, with ceramic plates in their place. After spending many years perfecting the technology, it claimed to be ready for large-scale production in late 2012.

Atraverda spent many months trying to secure funding to continue production but were let down by a Dutch investment firm late in the year. The company withdrew before the deal was finalised and the board of directors at Atraverda were forced to make the decision to file for administration.

James Cowper is seeking a buyer for the company either as assets or whole business. The administrator wants to get the best return on its input; Peter Whalley of James Cowper said all assets are for sale including the intellectual property, machinery and premises. He suggested an overseas buyer may not be interested in continuing production in the UK so the business could be split to suit the buyer’s offer.

The processes involved in making the batteries are all patented using non-standard machinery.

BEST visited the factory in Abertillery in late November 2012 at which stage all seemed well. Ryan said funding had been secured to enable production to be increased in 2013 and then the company would be securing large contracts. This funding was allowing the company to buy a large furnace to produce Ebonex powder, allowing an output of 1200 000 batteries a year.

Production ceased shortly after this visit and the administrators were contacted in early December for consultations.