Johnson Matthey Sells Battery Materials Assets

31.05.2022 - Johnson Matthey has agreed to sell parts of its Battery Materials business in two separate transactions, marking a turnaround from its decision in January to close the division after failing to secure a buyer.

A first agreement has been made with EV Metals, a global battery chemicals and technology business headquartered in the UK, which will pay £50 million cash for several assets that include the Battery Technology Center in Oxford and the Battery Technology Center and pilot plant in Billingham, both in the UK, a research center in Moosburg, Germany, and the partly constructed site in Konin, Poland.

The sale also includes Johnson Matthey’s eLNO technology, underpinned by the GEMX and CAM-7 cathode platforms that the company licensed from US technology development company CAMX Power. EV Metals will continue to develop eLNO, building on the successful customer testing program already undertaken by Johnson Matthey.

As part of the deal, Johnson Matthey will also take a minority stake in EV Metals. The transaction is expected to complete during this summer.

Commenting on the sale, CEO Liam Condon said: “Johnson Matthey made the decision to exit Battery Materials due to insufficient returns, increased commoditization of battery materials combined with the need for very high capital investments to remain competitive. With EV Metals Group vision and capability to be a fully integrated battery chemicals business, I am very confident that they are the right owner for the Battery Materials business going forward.”

EV Metals said the acquisition enables it to become a vital supplier of high-purity chemicals and cathode active materials (CAM) to the fast-growing electric battery market. The firm is currently building an integrated battery chemicals complex in Yanbu Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, that will produce high-purity chemicals containing lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese along with other metals and CAM used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.

A second agreement will see the sale of Johnson Matthey Battery Materials (JMBM) Canada to Nano One Materials for roughly C$10.25 million. The sale, which includes JMBM Canada’s 2,400 t/y lithium iron phosphate facility in Candiac, Quebec, is due to close by the end of 2022.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist