Administrators have selected a rival battery start-up based in Australia as preferred bidder of collapsed Britishvolt.
EY confirmed on Monday morning that its team had chosen Recharge Industries – owned by US investment firm Scale Facilitation Partners – to acquire the “majority of the business and assets” of Britishvolt following its demise last month.
The UK firm threw in the towel in mid-January after months of funding problems, resulting in more than 200 job losses, casting a huge cloud over the prospects for a UK manufacturer of batteries to power electric vehicles.
It was unclear, at this stage, what Recharge had agreed to buy and whether its plans included taking on construction of Britishvolt’s planned gigafactory on the site of the old coal-fired power station at Blyth in Northumberland.
Such a move would be thought unlikely in the short term.
EY said of the preferred bidder decision: “This follows a process conducted by EY that involved the consideration of multiple approaches from interested parties and numerous offers received.
“Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur within the next seven days.”
Britishvolt had intended to manufacture power cells for 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs a year, eventually employing 3,000 people, but its financial support was highly conditional.
The £3.8bn gigafactory project was backed by £1.7bn of private funding but that was subject to government support.
While £100m had been secured from the Automotive Transformation Fund, that money remained locked because Britishvolt was deemed to have missed key targets.