Firm behind ‘UK’s first’ gigafactory reportedly faces ‘pre-Christmas collapse’

Britishvolt is allegedly holding emergency fundraising talks that could lead to the potential sale of the business

The company behind the development of what is described as the UK’s first gigafactory is reportedly holding emergency fundraising talks with car manufacturers and other investors to secure its future.

According to the Financial Times, the options that are currently examined range from selling a minority stake to a full takeover of Britishvolt.

The report cited three people with knowledge of the firm’s financial position, saying that the company would collapse if it were unable to raise additional funds in the next two months.

Seven possible ‘strategic investors’, including Tata Motors and energy companies, are reportedly in talks with Britishvolt.

In August, ELN reported that the gigafactory which would be built at the site of the former coal power station in Blyth, Northumberland, had been put on “life support” to limit spending costs.

Asked then, the company told ELN that it was “rescheduling some strands of construction work” and that “flexing” the plan enabled it to “better source materials given current supply constraints”.

A Britishvolt spokesperson told ELN: “Our company policy is to not comment on market speculation. The Board of Directors supports the company’s latest business plan, which has been refocused and sharpened given the negative global economic situation and continues to have full confidence in the senior management team.

“We are actively working on several potential scenarios that offer the stability needed to enable us to carry on building a strong and viable British battery cell R&D and manufacturing business.

“It is important that Britishvolt is a success: not only for the 300 employees currently working for the company but also for the many thousands of jobs that we intend to create at our Gigaplant site in Northumberland and our R&D and scale-up facilities in the West Midlands and for the future of the UK auto industry and the country’s target to become net carbon zero by 2050.

“The ‘Britishvolt Effect’ is of huge strategic importance to UK plc and its standing on the global battery map.”

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