UK-based specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey has taken over the battery material business of Swiss chemicals company Clariant for $75m.
Clariant supplies lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode material to the lithium-ion battery sector for automotive and non-automotive applications.
Johnson Matthey has acquired all of Clariant’s energy storage business including its manufacturing facility in Canada, an R&D centre and pilot plant in Germany as well as a customer order book and an IP portfolio.
The unit had sales of about $17.5m and an operating loss in 2013.
“[The transaction] enhances our battery technologies business, complementing our recently acquired battery materials manufacturing assets and our expertise in battery systems,” said Johnson Matthey chief executive Robert MacLeod.
The UK firm recently bought A123 Systems‘ Chinese cathode material manufacturing facility. Accrording to Johnson Matthey, combining the two acquisitions will allow the company to optimise its LFP manufacturing operations.
“The further strengthening of our battery technologies capability is a key milestone in the development of our New Businesses Division. It marks an important step in Johnson Matthey’s long term strategy to establish new businesses in adjacent markets with strong growth potential that align with our technology competences,” said MacLeod.
The agreement is expected to be completed early next year.