Daimler AG is acquiring the 50.1-percent stake of Evonik Industries in their Li-Tec joint venture to become the lithium ion battery cell maker’s sole owner. Daimler will also acquire Evonik's 10 percent share in their Deutsche Accumotive battery partnership to take full ownership of the unit, the companies said in a joint statement.
Evonik chief executive Klaus Engel remarked in October that sluggish demand for electric vehicles and increasing inventories has placed pressure on prices. He said that "three-digit-million" euro sum as well as extra risk would be required to keep up with the battery industry's rapid development. This prompted Evonik to decide to divest its battery operations, Engel said.
"Evonik and Daimler have found a good solution," Thomas Hermann, head of corporate development at Evonik, said in the statement. He remarked that the purchase the agreement creates opportunities for Germany as an industrial location in an international environment of stiff competition.
Li-Tec -- headquartered in Kamenz, Germany and has a workforce of around 380 people -- produces battery cells for the current Smart ForTwo electric minicar. Based near Stuttgart, Deutsche Accumotive had around 230 workers as of the end 2013.
Harald Kröger, Head of Development at Mercedes-Benz Cars Electrics/Electronics, explained: “Along the value chain for drive-system batteries with lithium-ion technology, we now have the two most important components: the production of battery cells and the related development and production of highly complex drive-system batteries as a combination of cells and battery electronics. In this way, we secure not only expertise in electric mobility, but also the sites in Kamenz and Kirchheim/Teck.”