LONDON (Reuters) - Australia's Recharge Industries said on Monday it had bought Britishvolt, the collapsed startup which had struggled to fund a major electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in northern England.
Recharge Industries, privately owned by New York-based investment fund Scale Facilitation, was selected earlier this month as the preferred bidder for Britishvolt, which had outlined plans for a 3.8 billion pound ($4.54 billion) gigafactory.
Britain's ambitions of building a home-grown EV battery industry that can support domestic car production were thrown into doubt when Britishvolt collapsed in January, after failing to raise enough funding for the factory in Cambois.
"Backed by our global supply chain, strategic delivery partners and a number of significant customer agreements in place, we're confident of making the Cambois Gigafactory a success and growing it into an advanced green energy project," Scale Facilitation Chief Executive David Collard said.
"We have the right plan in place, to match and support the region's energy and ambition to become a major player in the international battery market."
The planned plant site is regarded as Britain's best "shovel-ready" location to make EV batteries at scale, with the land already acquired and planning permission in place.
The British government under former prime minister Boris Johnson had touted Britishvolt's project as a major milestone toward building an EV industry as the country heads toward a ban on combustion engine cars in 2030.
Recharge Industries, which is building a lithium-ion cell factory in Australia expected to begin production next year, emerged as Britishvolt's buyer following a bidding process that saw multiple offers. It did not give any details of the deal.
($1 = 0.8377 pounds)
(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)