Britishvolt Administrators in Talks with Additional Parties

Administrators for collapsed gigafactory firm Britishvolt are in talks with “additional parties” keen to acquire the Northumberland site, a new document shows.

Recharge Industries is still the preferred bidder to take over the failed firm and drive forward plans for the battery plant, but the Australian business has still not paid its final instalment of the £8.6m transaction, a year after it struck the deal with administrators at EY. Chief executive David Collard pledged at the time that Recharge Industries would create “thousands of green, skilled and local jobs” in a “highly credible plan to put boots and equipment on the ground quickly”.

But the fresh document from EY shows the firm continues to remain in default of the business sale agreement, for not paying the last instalment. The EY team recently extended its period as administrator until January 2025, a move designed to give it more time to complete the deal with Recharge or to explore new options.

Business Live is reporting that a new report shows that the administrators have held meetings with several other parties wanting to take the project forward.

The document says: “The buyer continues to remain in default of the Business Sale Agreement and, as such, the joint administrators have held discussions with a number of additional parties who have intimated that they may be interested in acquiring the proposed gigafactory site in Northumberland, an asset owned by Power by Britishvolt Properties Limited (BVP), and/or the shares the company owns in BVP.

“Whilst the joint administrators have not terminated the BSA, negotiations are ongoing with other interested parties. We are unable to provide more detailed commentary given the commercial sensitivities surrounding these negotiations.”

The administrators say they will provide a further update on discussions with other potential buyers in the next progress report to creditors.

News that another buyer could take on the Cambois site gives hope that the job-creating project will come to fruition. Civic leaders and business leaders across the North East have expressed frustration at the lack of progress at the site. The former coal yards of the Blyth Power Station are deemed one of the best for a gigafactory in Europe, serving up the potential to create thousands of jobs, both directly and in its supply chain.

The Britishvolt project was first unveiled in 2020, with the company promising to bring 3,000 direct jobs and 5,000 more in its supply chain. Government backing for the scheme to the tune of £100m was agreed, but the funding never materialised due to the firm’s inability to meet certain conditions. When Britishvolt collapsed last year it emerged that it had not generated any revenue and did not have any intellectual property.

Creditor claims continue to come in to the administrators, who say unsecured creditor claims are now estimated to total between £130m and £160m. They warn: “Until the sale of business is resolved, it remains too early in the administration to advise if there will be sufficient funds available to pay a dividend to unsecured creditors or what the dividend will be.”

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