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Britishvolt to be given a shot at life by new owner

​An Australian-based battery startup has been chosen by administrators as the preferred bidder for the collapsed company Britishvolt.

Following Britishvolt’s demise last month, administrator EY revealed on Monday morning that its team had selected Recharge Industries, which is backed by US investment firm Scale Facilitation Partners, to acquire the “bulk of the business and assets.”

After months of funding issues, the UK company declared bankruptcy in mid-January, which led to the loss of more than 200 jobs.

The disaster left a dark cloud over the future of a UK battery maker for electric vehicles.

At this point, it was unclear exactly what Recharge had committed to purchase, but part of what it had in mind to buy was the potential gigafactory site in Blyth, Northumberland.

Scale Facilitation’s CEO and Recharge’s creator, David Collard, said: “We’re overjoyed that our proposed proposal for Britishvolt is moving forward and cannot wait to start putting our ideas to construct the UK’s first gigafactory into action.

We’re convinced that our plan will produce a solid conclusion for all parties involved after a competitive and demanding process.

It is expected that the new owner would keep the 26 employees who were kept on during the administration process.

Recharge stated that it was unable to comment at this time on its larger employment intentions or whether it would look to rehire people who were laid off.

About the selection of the preferred bidder, EY stated: “This comes after a process that EY undertook that included taking into account numerous approaches from interested parties and various offers received.

“The acquisition is anticipated to be completed within the next seven days.”

Next year, Recharge plans to start a plant in Geelong, Australia.

Britishvolt’s financial backing was very constrained, but their goal was to produce the power cells for 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs annually, eventually employing 3,000 people.

Private finance of £1.7 billion supported the £3.8 billion gigafactory project, but it was contingent on government assistance.

The company was to receive £100 million from the Automotive Transformation Fund, but as Britishvolt was found to have fallen short on some crucial targets, the money could not be accessed.

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