Freudenberg Takes Majority Interest in XALT Energy
By Mike Osenga04 February 2019
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, Weinheim, Germany announced it has become majority stakeholder of XALT Energy, a Midland, Mich.-based global developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion technology solutions targeted for heavy-duty mobility applications.
In March 2018, Freudenberg announced it had acquired a 31 percent ownership stake in XALT Energy through a multi-million dollar investment in its operations. Now, increasing demands for lithium-ion battery technology that specifically targets commercial vehicles as well as marine and rail applications has prompted Freudenberg to acquire a more than 50 percent share of the battery manufacturer.
With this additional multi-million dollar investment, XALT Energy is able to revitalize production capabilities at the company’s Midland production plant and to intensify its research and development efforts into new mobility technologies. Additionally, Freudenberg has a standing agreement to acquire all remaining shares of XALT Energy over the next few years.
“We are pleased that this investment provides a much needed capital boost to XALT Energy and also puts Freudenberg in the driver’s seat. This acquisition is a crucial part of our future business strategy to transform as a supplier into a market leader of new mobility technologies and services,” said Claus Moehlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “As our customers transition to lithium-ion battery and fuel cell powertrain options, our investment in XALT Energy will enhance our ability to supply them with materials, products and systems solutions that meet new, complex technical challenges. We are delighted with this strategic venture.”
XALT Energy specializes in applying lithium-ion technology to large-scale, high-energy, high-power storage solutions for industries including commercial transportation, rail, marine, industrial operations and automotive. The company’s 460,000-sq.ft. automated assembly facility in Midland includes advanced clean rooms and produces cells, packs, modules and management controls and software for lithium-ion power systems. The company also operates a research and development laboratory in Pontiac, Mich.
Under Freudenberg’s oversight, the XALT Energy name will remain and become an affiliated brand of the global group headquartered in Germany. Freudenberg has also appointed Jeff Michalski, a long-standing Freudenberg executive, to take over leadership of XALT Energy from retiring CEO Richard Cundiff III.
Freudenberg and XALT Energy have already entered into strategic partnership agreements to provide advanced lithium-ion battery systems to heavy-duty segment leaders such as New Flyer of America for transit buses. In 2018, Freudenberg agreed to work with a leading provider of electrical power distribution and automation for the marine industry to explore battery solutions for its applications.
XALT Energy is also working with a variety of OEMs, through the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium LLC. In September 2018, the Consortium announced it would partner with XALT to develop a 12-volt, Lithium Manganese Oxide-Lithium Titanate stop-start battery system.