Axeon to buy Scottish battery specialist -

Axeon to buy Scottish battery specialist

LONDON — Axeon Holdings is to buy Advanced Batteries (Dundee, Scotland) in a move that brings together two of the U.K.’s innovative technology companies addressing the developing market for alternative power sources electric (EV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles.

The acquisition combines the expertise from both companies, Axeon’s Vindax semiconductor technology with ABL’s battery technology, to produce a battery management system suitable for current EV and HEV Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs and next generation fuel cell Li-ion batteries. The companies have already jointly developed a prototype battery management system for high-capacity Li-ion battery packs.

A battery management system will enable EVs and HEVs power sources to perform more efficiently, making alternative power even more competitive against traditionally fuelled vehicles.

Moving forward Axeon Holdings plans to maintain the existing business of both companies while developing the large battery pack business of ABL to initially deliver complete battery pack solutions to EV manufacturers and develop a generic battery management system for EV and HEV manufacturers.

In addition Axeon believes it will be possible to develop a Vindax based Li-ion battery management chip which could be licensed to the automotive and handheld device market.

Axeon will acquire the entire issued share capital of ABL for a cash consideration of £470,000 payable at completion, together with a deferred consideration of a maximum of £500,000 in cash and the issue of up to 3,252,032 Ordinary Shares. The Share Purchase Agreement also obliges Axeon to provide funding to ABL to enable it to pay the consideration of approximately £1,170,000 for the ABL Business. This consideration includes approximately £400,000 for the purchase of the current debtor book. Axeon has also raised approximately £4.05million (net of expenses) by placing 7,586,207 New Ordinary Shares at a price of 58p. The acquisition and the placing are conditional on the passing of Resolutions at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company, to be held on March 13, 2006 and Admission of the New Ordinary Shares being placed to trading on AIM.

The ABL Business specialises in the design and manufacture of high performance custom battery packs using lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells and operates as MPower. In the ten month period to October 31, 2005, it has unaudited sales of approximately £4.9 million and unaudited profit (before tax and exceptional items relating to the bad debt) of approximately £0.44 million.

Key executives of ABL formerly built TDI Batteries into a £50 million turnover business and subsequently formed MPower Batteries in 1999 and MPower in 2004 which now has 19 professional staff.

Last year Axeon appointed the former CEO of Cosworth, Charles Matthews, as chairman.

• Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently developed a lithium nickel manganese oxide battery that could become an alternative to nickel metal hydride batteries used today to power hybrid cars.

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