BorgWarner to acquire battery specialist Akasol

By Mike Brezonick16 February 2021

Akasol designs and manufactures customizable battery packs for use in buses, commercial vehicles, rail and industrial vehicles and marine vessels.

BorgWarner Inc. and Akasol AG announced that they have signed a Business Combination Agreement (BCA) that will position BorgWarner to significantly expand its commercial vehicle electrification capabilities.

As part of the agreement, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BorgWarner will launch a voluntary public takeover offer at €120 per share in cash for all outstanding shares of Akasol. Holders of approximately 59% of Akasol’s outstanding shares have committed to accept the offer.

The offer represents a premium of approximately 23% to Akasol’s three-month volume-weighted average share price prior to announcement and values Akasol at a total enterprise value of approximately €754 million, which includes the assumption of €27 million of net debt.

The offer, which has also been unanimously approved by the BorgWarner board of directors and the Akasol supervisory board, is expected to be completed late in the second quarter of 2021, subject to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory approvals, as well as other closing conditions.

Headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, Akasol designs and manufactures customizable battery packs for use in buses, commercial vehicles, rail and industrial vehicles and marine vessels. The company’s proprietary system technology is cell-agnostic, providing a low-cost, flexible solution to world-class customers, BorgWarner said. With more than 300 full-time employees and three facilities across Germany and one facility in the United States, Akasol believes it is well positioned to capitalize on the large market opportunity across Europe and North America.

“Akasol is an excellent strategic fit as BorgWarner seeks to continue to expand its electrification portfolio and capitalize on the profound industry shift towards electrification,” said Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO of BorgWarner. “Akasol’s manufacturing footprint and established, in-production customer base are complementary to BorgWarner’s and would accelerate our foothold into the fast-growing commercial vehicle and off-highway battery pack market.”

BorgWarner believes the acquisition would significantly strengthen its commercial vehicle and off-highway battery systems business as it continues to execute its electrification strategy.

“The executive board welcomes the strategic partnership with BorgWarner, as it offers significant strategic perspectives to Akasol,” said Sven Schulz, CEO and founder of Akasol. “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.”

Akasol is expected to continue to be run independently from its Darmstadt headquarters, and BorgWarner intends to be represented on the Supervisory Board in a manner which appropriately reflects its shareholding. It is currently expected that CEO Schulz, CFO Carsten Bovenschen and CTO Stephen Raiser will continue their roles after completion of the transaction.

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