Britishvolt could be the subject of a bidding war, after an Australian battery start-up threw its hat in the ring with a takeover offer for the firm.
Recharge Industries is looking to power up the collapsed battery maker and has reportedly made a preliminary offer, for an undisclosed sum, while other parties are also rumoured to be circling the electric vehicle battery producer.
Recharge could come up against multiple bidders, with Tata Motors and Dealab, a London-based financial group with close links to Indonesia, which have both previously expressing interest in the company, according to media reports.
Recharge’s founder confirmed to The Financial Times that he will tour Britishvolt’s site in Northumberland this week, and meet government officials before tabling an offer.
Founder David Collard said he hopes to take advantage of strong ties between the two countries, with the UK and Australia recently both signing a free trade agreement and being members of the “Aukus” security alliance.
Collard revealed he had been approached by Britishvolt six months ago, when the British company was scrambling for funding, but at the time he was focusing on his Australian operations.
He now wants to combine Britishvolt’s plans with his company’s existing ambitions to construct a battery factory in Geelong, a coastal city in Australia, by 2024. If his takeover bid is successful, Collard is expected to transfer Recharge’s lithium-ion battery technology being used at the Geelong plant to the UK plant to speed up its resurgence.
Recharge would also expect the £100m in funding the UK government promised to Britishvolt – a sum that was dependent on the firm hitting its construction targets.
Britishvolt collapsed into administration earlier this month after failing to find a viable bidder, with EY overseeing its sale.
The business expected to attract bids of less than £10m, after having previously been valued as high as £700m, and a takeover could be wrapped up by the end of the month.
EY declined to comment.