Deal hopes

Battery firm AMTE Power in talks with potential buyer

AMTE Power
AMTE Power collapsed before Christmas

A potential buyer has emerged for the collapsed electric vehicle battery maker AMTE Power which is now entering talks in the hope of salvaging the company.

AMTE Power, which has a plant in Thurso and had plans to build a megafactory in Dundee, said an accelerated sale process, announced on 19 December and led by FRP Advisory, has “elicited interest in the business and assets of the company”. A deal could be sealed in the coming days.

The board yesterday filed a second notice of intention to appoint an administrator and will be protected from creditor action for a further 10 business day period (until and including 19 January).

It intends to use this time to explore the interest that has emerged and “conclude a transaction”. Trading in the company’s shares on the Alternative Investment Market remain suspended.

WH Ireland will resign as nominated adviser if the negotiations do not succeed and an administrator is appointed. If the company fails to appoint a replacement nominated adviser within a month of the date that WH Ireland resigns, the shares will be cancelled.

FRP director Richard Bloomfield said: “The accelerated M&A [mergers and acquisitions] process is gathering pace and we’ve had an encouraging response that recognises the considerable potential of AMTE Power.

“There is credible interest from several interested parties which has supported the case to extend the notice period as we look for a viable solution to take the business forward.”

AMTE Power, employed 40 staff in Thurso and has a research facility in Oxford. It planned to employ 215 workers making eight million cells a year at a £190m factory in Dundee.

In November it entered into a subscription, placing and convertible loan agreement with Pinnacle International Venture Capital to raise £2.5 million. Pinnacle has declined to advance funds under the loan facility.

As a result, AMTE said it has no other means to secure finance and will have insufficient funds to continue trading.

The company had failed to secure government help and it considered moving to the US because of the incentives on offer for gigafactory builders. It failed to get firm orders from carmakers and other potential customers, or a patient investor that could fuel an expansion in production.

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