A rescue deal for Britishvolt values the struggling battery start-up at just £32mn, 96 per cent lower than a year ago, according to two people familiar with the proposed deal.
The lead investor in a consortium of buyers is DeaLab Group Limited, a London-based asset management firm with links to Indonesia, the people added.
Britishvolt said on Monday it was in talks to sell a majority stake of the business to a consortium of investors to raise funds to keep the fledgling company solvent.
Under the terms of the deal, the new investor will provide Britishvolt with £30mn initially, then another £128mn during this year, the Financial Times reported on Monday. This will help the business to keep running, allowing it to secure orders from carmakers for its battery technology.
The start-up’s shareholders, which include Glencore and Ashtead, have until Friday to approve the deal, three people familiar with the vote said.
The threshold is 75 per cent approval, a level that may prove challenging given that so many of the shareholders will be all but wiped out by the valuation of £32mn, two people said.
A funding round last February valued Britishvolt at more than £774mn.
Three people with knowledge of the funding talks said there was no alternative to the offer from DeaLab, leaving little prospect of the business remaining solvent if shareholders refused to back the deal.
Britishvolt on Tuesday said that “we can’t confirm market speculation on the interested party’s name” and repeated that “the two parties will provide further details at the appropriate time and have nothing further to add at this stage”.
DeaLab did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent through its website.