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JM sells Battery Materials

Johnson Matthey (JM) has exited from the batteries market by selling most of its Battery Materials business to EV Metals Group for £50 million and the Canadian part to Nano One Materials for C$10.25 million. Both buyers are specialists in the field.

EV Metals is taking the battery technology centres at Oxford and Billingham, UK, and Moosburg, Germany; a pilot plant and laboratories also at Billingham; a cathode active materials (CAMs) plant under construction in Konin, Poland (pictured); JM’s eLNO technology; and associated patents, licences and other IP rights.

The company is thus adding downstream production of CAMs for electric vehicle (EV) and battery cell manufacturers to its upstream mining and chemical processing activities. About 100 people are transferring from JM, which is also taking a minority equity stake in EVM and a seat on the board. The deal should be completed in the summer.

The sale of JM Battery Materials Canada brings NanoOne R&D, pilot-scale, commercial-scale cathode production and product qualification and QA systems, qualified for Tier 1 automotive lithium-ion cell manufacturers plus a 2,400 tonnes/year lithium iron phosphate facility in Candiac, Québec. This deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Separately but also in line with its strategy after exiting form batteries, JM is investing €20 million in Enapter as part of an ongoing partnership. Enapter specialises in AEM electrolysis technology, which aims to drive the cost drive down the cost of green hydrogen to be competitive with fossil fuels. The two will collaborate on the development of advanced components for Enapter’s AEM stacks using catalysts from JM. They will also investigate opportunities for the recycling of production scraps and components from end-of-life products.

In another ongoing part of the company’s transformation, Johnson Matthey Health has announced that its new name under the ownership of Altaris Capital Partners will be Veranova. The name is derived from Latin words meaning ‘true’ and ‘new’. Veranova is a CDMO focused on APIs, with about 900 employees and operations in the US, the UK and China.

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