Wednesday, 20 February, 2019


Tesla to buy battery tech maker Maxwell Technologies for $218 million

A Tesla car is seen in Santa Monica A Tesla car is seen in Santa Monica California United States
Conrad Doyle | 05 February, 2019, 16:24

Outside of the company, Bill Selesky, an analyst with Argus Research, said that Maxwel's proprietary battery technology would will help Tesla give its EVs "greater battery power while taking up less space and lighter weight in the vehicle".

Later on Monday, EV maker Tesla said it had agreed to buy USA energy storage company Maxwell Technologies for $218 million in an all-stock deal that could help the electric vehicle maker produce batteries that hold more energy and last longer at a time when it needs to cut costs and faces growing competition.

Jumping in with a commitment to purchase Maxwell is an indicator that Tesla sees massive potential with the technology and hints at the future of solid-state batteries that so many have held out as the holy grail of energy storage for so many years.

"We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy", said Tesla in a statement sent to CNBC. Maxwell claims they can lengthen the life of a battery by up to two times, and function across a broader temperature range. The deal represents a 55 percent premium over Maxwell's closing stock price of $3.07 a share Friday and would value the company at around $218 million.

Maxwell shares have fallen steadily from levels around $15, last seen in mid 2014.

Maxwell Technologies' customers include General Motors and Lamborghini. "Real competitors are coming now, so Tesla needs to move fast". Maxwell's shares (mxwl) are up more than 52% to $4.67 in pre-market trading. Musk has said in the past that the technology could be a more likely source of a breakthrough in electric vehicle technology than batteries.

Panasonic is the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla, which in turn is Panasonic's biggest EV battery client.

In the past Tesla has acquired Riviera Tool LLC, a manufacturer of stamping die systems used to form sheet metal parts; SolarCity, a provider of solar energy services to homeowners, businesses, government, and non-profit organizations in; Grohmann Engineering, a firm that makes Tesla's robots for production, and Perbix, a maker of highly automated manufacturing equipment in November 2017. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

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