The Strategist

Tesla buys Maxwell Technologies for $ 218 mln

02/05/2019 - 04:15

US Tesla bought Maxwell Technologies, acompany that produces ultracapacitors, batteries and other components. The price amounted to $ 200 mln, and the board of directors of Maxwell approved the deal unanimously. The transaction is expected to be fifnished in the middle of this year.

Information about the transaction has already led to an increase in Maxwell Technologies' quotations on the stock market to $ 4.58 per share. In January, Maxwell Technologies reported a breakthrough in the creation of electric batteries. The manufacturer claims that their new batteries are capable of operating in a wider temperature range and twice as long as competing models.

The firm's main office is located in San Diego (California, USA). The first nine months of 2018 brought the company $ 91 million of revenue. Maxwell cooperates with automakers such as General Motors, Geely/Volvo, Peugeot Citroën Groupe and Lamborghini.

In turn, Tesla confirmed conclusion of an agreement with Maxwell. “We are always busy searching for potential acquisitions that make sense to the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” the automotive company said.

Currently, the Japanese company Panasonic is the exclusive supplier of Tesla batteries. And the company is already at risk of losing the status of an exclusive supplier of Tesla. In November, Elon Musk announced that his company would produce its own battery modules and units at a factory in Shanghai and plans to diversify its suppliers.

At the beginning of this year, Tesla began construction of its first Gigafactory in China, where, as stated by Elon Musk, they will produce “more affordable” cars for the Chinese car market. Tesla held talks with the Chinese Tianjin Lishen Battery on the supply of batteries for its new Shanghai plant. In the face of growing competition among Chinese manufacturers of electric vehicles in the world's largest automotive market and trade war, which increases the cost of imports from the United States, Tesla expects to localize the production of battery cells in China.

Tesla said it received a quote from Lishen for the supply of batteries for a plant in Shanghai. Two people involved in this process report that a preliminary agreement has been signed. However, in Chinese, this form of agreement can mean a simple statement of intent. Companies still have to decide how large an order Tesla will place and on what kind of cells. According to informants, the Tesla vendor certification process usually takes a long time and cannot be completed so quickly.