Australian electric battery maker buys Britishvolt out of administration

Plans for an electric battery gigafactory in the UK have been revived after an Australian business championed by Lord Botham snapped up the assets of collapsed Britishvolt.

Recharge Industries fended off interest from a number of companies to be chosen as the preferred bidder for the company.

Britishvolt plunged into administration in January having failed to secure a rescue deal for its plans to build a £3.8bn gigafactory near Blyth. It had £100m in government funding earmarked for the plant.

David Collard, founder of Recharge Industries and chief executive of its parent Scale Foundation, said the Australian company was “thrilled” and “can’t wait to get started making a reality of our plans to build the UK’s first gigafactory”.

He added: “After a competitive and rigorous process, we’re confident our proposal will deliver a strong outcome for all involved.”

Mr Collard had previously thanked Lord Botham for the “proactive assistance” of cricket legend Lord Botham, who is the UK-Australian trade envoy, ahead of its bid.

More than 200 staff were made redundant as part of the collapse of Britishvolt in January.

Britishvolt’s joint administrators EY said the deal was for the majority of the business and assets of the company, which made 200 people redundant when it fell into administration last month.

The agreement is actually with Scale Facilitation Partners, an international trade consultancy based in Geelong and Manhattan.

It indirectly owns battery maker Recharge Industries.

EY said the deal came after administrators considered “multiple approaches”, with “numerous offers received” for the failed electric battery maker. 

It added: “Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur within the next seven days.”

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