US Firm To Make Bid For Bankrupt UK Car Battery Firm

US firm Recharge Industries on Wednesday said it was making a cash bid for Britishvolt, a UK firm behind a planned gigafactory for electric vehicle batteries that declared bankruptcy last week.

The start-up, championed by former prime minister Boris Johnson to help drive a greener economy, had been developing the multi-billion-pound project in Blyth, northeast England.

However, the company, once valued at $1 billion, last week fell into administration, a process whereby a troubled company brings in outside expertise to try and salvage parts of the business.

Recharge Industries said the bid would include purchasing the entire site and facilities, “and offers a vision to retain current Britishvolt staff.”

“We have made a non-binding cash offer,” said David Collard, CEO of Scale Facilitation, the investment firm that owns Recharge Industries.

“There will be roles for remaining employees within Britishvolt and also supporting our Australian facility in the interim remotely from the UK,” he added.

Financial firm EY said it would oversee Britishvolt’s administration, confirming that a formal application for the process had been submitted.

The “majority” of its 300 staff have been made redundant “with immediate effect”, it added.

Britishvolt had been in emergency fundraising talks since the end of last year, despite the promise of government financial support and in the wake of funding by metals giant Glencore and British luxury car firm Aston Martin.

Britishvolt had hoped to produce 300,000 electric vehicle batteries a year at Blyth.