Johnson Matthey announces sale of Battery Materials

Johnson Matthey Plc (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, announces that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of part of its Battery Materials business to EV Metals Group, a global battery chemicals and technology business.

The sale includes Johnson Matthey’s assets at the Battery Technology Centre in Oxford & Battery Technology Centre and pilot plant in Billingham, a research centre in Moosburg, Germany and the partly constructed site in Konin, Poland. The sale does not include Johnson Matthey’s LFP facility in Canada, which will be acquired by Nano One®, a clean technology innovator in battery materials, as announced yesterday – see more here  

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

The Battery Materials business will be sold for a total consideration of £50 million in cash and Johnson Matthey will receive a minority equity stake in EV Metals.

In our interim results we fully impaired the carrying value of our battery materials assets as at 30th September 2021, resulting in a charge of £314 million, and announced on 12th January 2022 that we anticipated additional cash costs up to £150m.  After taking into account the proceeds of this sale these net additional cash costs are now expected to be no more than £50m. The transaction is expected to complete over Summer 2022.

Liam Condon, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey, says: “Johnson Matthey made the decision to exit Battery Materials due to insufficient returns, increased  commoditisation 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.  

This important divestment means Johnson Matthey can now focus on our core portfolio and today I’ve outlined our new strategy, which explains how Johnson Matthey will create more value and help accelerate societal progress towards net zero.” 

Michael Naylor, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EV Metals Group, says: “The acquisition of the Battery Materials Business is a strong strategic fit for EV Metals Group. It includes world class, leading technology for the production of cathode active materials. With our unique upstream, midstream and downstream business model, EV Metals is well positioned to drive the successful commercialisation of JM’s CAM technology, taking full advantage of the Group’s ‘mine to OEM’ integrated supply chain, which addresses the long-term market challenge of both surety of raw materials and the supply of processed materials.”  

“EV Metals is committed to protecting all high-value, specialist jobs within JM’s battery materials business and to driving further job creation by building out a UK EV supply chain. We are pleased to welcome the technology team in the UK and Germany who developed the Johnson Matthey Battery Materials business to the EV Metals team.  We look forward to working with them to commercialise cathode active materials technology through the development of cathode active materials plants for electric vehicle and battery cell manufacturers in the UK and Europe, where demand is forecast to significantly outpace supply.  We are also pleased to welcome Johnson Matthey as a shareholder of EV Metals Group.”

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