BorgWarner to acquire German battery firm Akasol to expand commercial e-mobility business

by John Shepherd
CEO Sven Shulz (right) and CFO Carsten Bovenschen to continue leading the company. Photo: Akasol
US-headquartered automotive supplier BorgWarner today agreed to acquire Akasol, in a takeover deal that sets the Germany-based battery manufacturer’s total enterprise value at around €754m (£657m).

BorgWarner said the acquisition, which is backed by Akasol’s executive and supervisory boards, would enable the Michigan-based group to significantly expand its commercial vehicle electrification capabilities.

Under the terms of the deal, current CEO Sven Schulz said he would continue to lead Akasol, together with CFO Carsten Bovenschen, all founders and the management team.

'Expand technology'

Schulz and the other founders, representing a 59.4% stake in Akasol, have signed irrevocable undertakings to tender their shares.

Schulz said: "BorgWarner shares our vision of emission-free mobility and, with joint forces, we will expand Akasol’s technology and market leadership for high-performance battery systems.”

As part of the agreement, a wholly-owned BorgWarner subsidiary will launch a voluntary public takeover offer at €120 per share in cash for all outstanding shares of Akasol. The enterprise value includes the assumption of €27m of debt.

Customisable battery packs

The acquisition is expected to be completed late in the second quarter of 2021, subject to various regulatory approvals and conditions.

Akasol, headquartered in Darmstadt, designs and manufactures customisable battery packs for buses, commercial vehicles, rolling stock and industrial vehicles, as well as for ships and boats.

Schulz said last summer that Akasol had started delivering its second-generation AKASystem OEM PRC-type lithium-ion battery systems, made at its second serial production line. The line was commissioned at the company’s Langen plant, in the German state of Hesse, in early 2020.

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