Australian Start-Up To Take Over Battery Maker Britishvolt

Artist's depiction of planned Britishvolt electric vehicle battery plant in Blyth. Image credit: Britishvolt

Australian battery start-up Recharge Industries reaches deal with administrators to take over collapsed UK battery venture Britishvolt

An Australian start-up has become the preferred bidder to purchase the assets of collapsed battery maker Britishvolt, which went into administration last month.

Recharge Industries, which is owned by New York investment fund Scale Facilitation Partners, outbid several rivals to purchase the business and assets of Britishvolt from administrators EY.

The Australian firm’s bid would see it taking over Britishvolt’s plans for a giant £3.8 billion battery factory near Blyth, Northumberland, as well as its pre-existing plans to build a battery facility in Geelong, a former car manufacturing centre in Australia, near Melbourne.

“After a competitive and rigorous process, we’re confident our proposal will deliver a strong outcome for all involved,” said David Collard, the Australian-born founder and chief executive of Scale Facilitation, in a statement on Monday.

electric vehicle battery britishvolt
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle. Image credit: Ford

Battery hub

EY said on Monday completion of the acquisition was expected to occur within the next seven days.

The Britishvolt plant was intended to give the UK its own manufacturing base for batteries, a critical component for electric vehicles.

If completed the 30GWh factory would be the fourth-largest building in the UK.

The plant was originally intended to create 3,000 jobs when operating at full capacity.

Funding gap

Britishvolt had £100m in conditional financing from the British government, which helped it secure a further £1.7bn in funding from private investors.

But the start-up failed to meet various hurdles to receive the government funding, forcing it to shut down.

Other bids were made by existing Britishvolt investors, private equity firm Greybull Capital and HSBC-backed Soudi British Bank, according to a Financial Times report.