New bidder hopes to electrify Britishvolt

Administrators have selected an Australian competitor battery company as their top offer for the insolvent Britishvolt.

Administrator EY announced on Monday that Recharge Industries, which is backed by US investment company Scale Facilitation Partners, has been chosen to buy the “majority of the business and assets” following Britishvolt’s collapse last month.

The UK company filed for bankruptcy in mid-January after months of funding problems, which resulted in the loss of more than 200 jobs.

The catastrophe cast a bleak shadow over the future of an electric vehicle battery manufacturer in the UK.

It wasn’t obvious exactly what Recharge had agreed to buy at this time, but one of the items on its shopping list was the possible gigafactory site in Blyth, Northumberland.

David Collard, the founder of Recharge and CEO of Scale Facilitation, said: “We’re ecstatic that our concept for Britishvolt is progressing, and we can’t wait to start putting our plans to build the first gigafactory in the UK into practice. We’re confident that our strategy will lead to a successful outcome for all parties following a challenging and competitive process.”

The 26 employees who were retained throughout the administration process are anticipated to remain with the new owner.

Recharge said it couldn’t comment at the moment on its long-term employment plans or whether it would try to rehire workers who had been let go.

According to EY, the preferred bidder was chosen from multiple offers for the business.

A spokesman said: “This is the result of a process that EY carried out that includes considering multiple approaches from interested parties and various offers received.

“Within the next seven days, the acquisition is scheduled to be completed.”

Recharge intends to open a facility in Geelong, Australia, the following year.

Despite having very limited financial support, Britishvolt aimed to eventually employ 3,000 people while producing the power cells for 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs annually.

The £3.8 billion gigafactory project was funded by £1.7 billion in private financing, although it was dependent on government funding.

Britishvolt was awarded £100 million from the Automotive Transformation Fund, but it was determined that the company had failed to meet key crucial objectives and the funds could not be used.

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