An Australian company has been named the preferred bidder for Britishvolt, the UK battery start-up that went bankrupt last month.
Recharge Industries, which is owned by the New York-based fund Scale Facilitation Partners, has agreed to purchase Britishvolt’s business and assets.
After running out of funds, Britishvolt was placed into administration.
It intended to construct a massive factory near Blyth, Northumberland, to manufacture electric car batteries.
EY, the accountancy firm that has been overseeing the sale and is also the administrator for Britishvolt, stated: “Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur within the next seven days.”
Recharge Industries is constructing a factory in Australia to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.
Little information has been released about its plans for the Britishvolt business, which had hoped to build a £3.8 billion factory as part of a long-term strategy to boost UK battery manufacturing.
It was hoped that it would generate 3,000 skilled jobs. Instead, when Britishvolt went bankrupt, it laid off more than 200 people.
It was forced to postpone the start of production at the plant several times, citing “difficult external economic headwinds such as rampant inflation and rising interest rates” most recently.
The construction of this battery plant is viewed as critical to the future of UK car manufacturing. But the last time an ambitious start-up attempted this with unproven technology led by people unheard of in the battery and car worlds, it ended in the spectacular failure of Britishvolt, which went bankrupt last month.
Recharge Industries, which won the bid to buy Britishvolt out of administration, admitted to paying a premium over the other bidders, but said it was indicative of their confidence in a project that would bring together Australian minerals, US battery know-how, and a promising UK site.