India-based Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, has agreed to acquire Sheffield-based sodium-ion battery technology firm Faradion Limited for an enterprise value of £100 million.
RNESL will also invest £25 million as growth capital to accelerate commercial roll out.
Reliance said it will use Faradion’s technology at its proposed energy storage giga-factory as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project at Jamnagar, India.
Mercia Asset Management, the UK regionally focused specialist asset manager, said it owns a 16.4% fully diluted direct holding in Faradion and is entitled to receive proceeds of £18.6 million.
Reliance said Faradion’s sodium-ion technology provides significant advantages compared to alternative battery technologies, especially lithium-ion and lead acid, including the fact that there is no dependence and use of cobalt, lithium, copper or graphite.
It said sodium is the sixth most abundant element on the planet.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said: “We welcome Faradion and its experienced team to Reliance family.
“This will further strengthen and build upon our ambition to create one of the most advanced and integrated New Energy ecosystem and put India at the forefront of leading battery technologies.
“The sodium-ion technology developed by Faradion provides a globally leading energy storage and battery solution which is safe, sustainable, provides high energy density and is significantly cost competitive.
“In addition, it has wide use applications from mobility to grid scale storage and back-up power.
“Most importantly, it utilizes sodium, which will secure India’s energy storage requirements for its large renewable energy and fast-growing EV charging market.
“We will work with Faradion management and accelerate its plans to commercialise the technology through building integrated and end-to-end giga scale manufacturing in India.
“We believe this will be one of our many steps that will also enable, accelerate, and secure large scale energy storage requirements for our Indian partners developing and transforming India’s EV mobility and transport sector.”
Faradion CEO James Quinn said: “Faradion has been one of the first to champion sodium-ion battery technology.
“Reliance is the perfect partner for supporting Faradion’s growth in the rapidly expanding Indian market and to jointly speed up the transformation of the global energy market.
“Becoming part of the Reliance group validates the incredible work our team has done in advancing sodium-ion technology.
“Together with Reliance, Faradion can bring British innovation to India and globally, as the world increasingly looks beyond lithium.
“We look forward to being part of India’s Net Zero mission.”
Faradion chairman and co-founder Chris Wright said: “Dr Jerry Barker, Ashwin Kumaraswamy and I founded Faradion in 2010 to develop sodium-ion technology and bring it to market, with funds from Mercia Asset Management.
“This deal with Reliance firmly establishes Faradion’s sodium-ion batteries as an integral part of the global value chain for cheaper, cleaner, more sustainable energy for decades to come.”
Linklaters LLP acted as the legal advisor and Ernst and Young as the accounting and tax advisor to Reliance on this transaction.