Swedish battery maker secures $1bn funding for Europe’s first ‘gigafactory’

(EurActiv, 13 Jun 2019) Swedish start-up Northvolt Wednesday (12 June) announced it had secured funding, in large part from Volkswagen, for Europe’s biggest car battery factory, set to rival electric carmaker Tesla’s US “Gigafactory”.

The battery producer said it had completed a $1 billion equity capital raise, led by Volkswagen and Goldman Sachs, alongside BMW, Swedish pension fund AMF, insurer Folksam and the IMAS Foundation, part of the IKEA Group.

“Today is not only a great milestone for Northvolt, it also marks a key moment for Europe that clearly shows that we are ready to compete in the coming wave of electrification,” Peter Carlsson, CEO of Northvolt, said in a statement.

The company did not specify how much capital the different investors were providing, and added that the transaction needed the approval of the Swedish Competition Authority.

According to a separate statement by Volkswagen, the German carmaker would be aquiring a 20% stake of Northvolt and would have one seat on its board.

In 2017 Northvolt announced plans for battery factory “Northvolt Ett”, to employ between 2000 to 2500 people and be located in Skelleftea, a coastal town in Sweden’s industrial north-east.

The European Investment Bank gave an in-principle approval of a loan of €350 million to Northvolt in May of this year, and together with the additional funds raised the company said the “establishment of the initial 16 GWh of lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing capacity at Northvolt Ett is enabled”.

External link

EurActiv, 13 Jun 2019: Swedish battery maker secures $1bn funding for Europe’s first ‘gigafactory’