Australian start-up Recharge Industries launches late rescue move for Britishvolt

Australian start-up Recharge Industries has tabled an 11th-hour rescue bid for collapsed electric battery business Britishvolt. Credit: PA

An Australian start-up has tabled an 11th-hour rescue bid for collapsed electric battery business Britishvolt.

Recharge Industries said it lodged a late takeover bid on Tuesday for the firm, which had plans to build a £3.8 billion gigafactory to make batteries in Northumberland.

It comes a week after Britishvolt collapsed into administration and made the majority of its roughly 300 workers redundant.

The company appointed administrators at EY after failing to raise enough cash for its research and the development of its Cambois site.

Britishvolt’s failure came after months of trouble as the company struggled to raise enough money to stay afloat.

Last week, administrators at EY said: “The joint administrators are assessing the options for realising the potential value in the business and assets of the company, including intellectual property and R&D assets, for the benefit of creditors.

“The administrators will subsequently implement an orderly closure and winding down of the company’s affairs, as required.”

However, on Wednesday 25 January, Recharge told the Australian Financial Review that it has made a non-binding takeover offer.

Recharge, which is backed by New York investment firm Scale Facilitation, is moving forward with plans to build a similar battery factory in Geelong, near Melbourne.

David Collard, Scale Facilitation’s Geelong-born founder and chief executive, said a takeover of the British business would make strategic sense.

He said: “Strengthening our friends in the UK, especially when most others are kicking them when they’re down, is in our interest and definitely in the spirit of (Australia-UK-US security pact) Aukus.”

He told ITV Tyne Tees a non-binding cash offer had been made. He added: "There will be roles for remaining employees within Britishvolt and also supporting our Australian facility in the interim remotely from the UK.” 

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