Tesla acquires battery technology group Maxwell for $218 mn

Tesla to Acquire Maxwell Technologies for $218 Million

The deal values each share of Maxwell Technologies stock at $4.75, or almost 50% higher than the ~$3/share price it was hovering at in the weeks before the announcement.

Electric car-maker Tesla is to bolster its energy storage capabilities with a deal to buy U.S. battery-maker Maxwell Technologies.

The announcement comes amid a cost-cutting initiative at the automaker - which announced just last month it would slash an additional 7 percent of its workforce as it works to lower the price of its flagship Model 3 sedan to reach a broader market. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Clearly, however, the technology is still an area of interest for Musk and his company, and was a motivating factor in the acquisition of Maxwell.

In a statement announcing the Maxwell Technologies acquisition, Tesla said it's always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. Ultracapacitors can store and rapidly deliver surges of energy. The move is a direct departure from Tesla's current energy storage requirements; instead of relying on lithium battery technology, this acquisition could signal a change to capacitor technology. The company now offers its products in a range of industries, including industrial electronics, transportation, and renewable energy. Supercaps hold energy in an electrical field and not in chemical form.

Tesla may not have any plans of directly using ultracapacitors, but borrowing the construction techniques and applying them to existing batteries could allow for improvements.

This product is already used in cars, buses and wind turbines to extend battery life and increase energy efficiency, according to Maxwell. Maxwell Technologies is all about batteries, with a specific focus on dry electrode manufacturing technology that it has been pairing with ultracapacitors. It has operations extending as far as Europe, Africa, Germany and South Korea.

Maxwell Technologies' customers include General Motors and Lamborghini.

Panasonic is the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla, which in turn is Panasonic's biggest EV battery client.

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