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Botham-backed Aussie rescue bid saves Britishvolt's:£3.8bn gigafactory plan

How ?  Cricketing legend Lord Botham (pictured) has backed a deal for Australia's Recharge Industries to buy Britishvolt in its role as UK-Australia trade envoy

Australian bailout bid saves Britishvolt

Britishvolt was rescued by an Australian start-up in a deal backed by Ian Botham.

In a major boost to the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) ambitions, EY directors have selected Recharge Industries as the preferred bidder to buy the car battery company, weeks after it disappeared.

The deal – backed by cricketing legend Lord Botham in his role as UK-Australia trade envoy – rekindles hopes that the £3.8billion gigafactory that Britishvolt plans to build near from Blyth in Northumberland will continue.

How ?  Cricketing legend Lord Botham (pictured) has backed a deal for Australia's Recharge Industries to buy Britishvolt in its role as UK-Australia trade envoy

How ? Cricketing legend Lord Botham (pictured) has backed a deal for Australia’s Recharge Industries to buy Britishvolt in its role as UK-Australia trade envoy

The plant is seen as crucial to supercharging UK electric vehicle manufacturing capabilities and reducing reliance on materials from China and the EU.

But plans suffered a setback last month when Britishvolt fell into administration.

However, industry experts have warned that there is still no certainty that the plant will go ahead given that Recharge is also a start-up and has yet to build its own major project. .

The Australian group – ultimately owned by New York-based investment firm Scale Facilitation – beat out a string of rivals to clinch the deal.

Accountant EY, who is overseeing the sale, said he received “several approaches” and “numerous offers” before naming Recharge as the preferred bidder.

Last month, the start-up was publicly backed by Botham, who said he was “proactively assisting” the group with its bid through his role as trade envoy.

EY has not specified the sale price for the business, but any deal will likely value Britishvolt at a fraction of its £774m valuation when it raised funds in February last year.

Recharge founder David Collard said: “We are delighted to be making progress with our proposed offer for Britishvolt and we look forward to starting to deliver our plans to build the UK’s first gigafactory.

Nissan’s Green Driving

Nissan is taking over part of Renault’s electric car business.

The Japanese auto giant will take a stake of up to 15% in Ampère, a Renault subsidiary that plans to sell six electric models by 2030.

The investment comes ahead of a planned listing on the Paris stock exchange for the spin-off in the second half of this year, with Renault retaining a majority stake.

The couple also announced an overhaul of their partnership, which saw Renault cut its stake in Nissan from 43% to 15%.

Nissan will retain its 15% stake in Renault.

After a competitive and rigorous process, we are confident that our proposal will produce a solid outcome for everyone involved.

The plant is expected to create up to 3,000 jobs in the region, which former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said was “exactly what leveling looks like”.

Simon Clarke, Tory MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said Recharge’s winning bid was “good news”, adding that “a private partner has always been essential for Britishvolt”.

But Professor David Bailey from the University Of Birmingham Business School warned it may be too early to tell if this really is a good match for the British start-up.

“While this deal is better than nothing, Recharge, like Britishvolt, ultimately remains a start-up,” he said.

“The industry would have been better off if it had been a bigger player, like Panasonic or [Chinese energy group] Envision, which won the auction.

He said many of the issues that caused Britishvolt’s collapse are still lurking below the surface, including financing the factory and finding customers, with no clear indication of how Recharge will handle one or more of them. the other.

Andy Palmer, former Aston Martin boss and self-styled godfather of electric vehicles, has warned that more needs to be done to make Britishvolt a success.

“The new owners must now demonstrate that they have the technology and manufacturing capacity to build up an order book, going well beyond Britishvolt’s achievements to date,” he said.

He said strong incentives were needed in the UK to compete with the EU.

Jonathan Reynolds, spokesman for Labor Business, said: ‘The government’s long-term failure on industrial strategy means we are losing the global race to make batteries for electric vehicles.

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