Johnson Matthey exits battery systems business as it sells UK division to US engine maker

February 02, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
US engine maker Cummins has bought Johnson Matthey’s UK automotive battery systems business for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal the two will collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials for commercial heavy duty applications.

The acquisition of the automotive battery systems business allows Cummins to expand its electrification and energy storage capabilities in its efforts to be a global leader in electrified power, combining with US electric drivetrain and battery maker Brammo. 

Johnson Matthey meanwhile intends to focus on developing high energy battery materials such as enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO), for transport applications.

The UK business is one of Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery system suppliers with 50 staff in Milton Keynes.

“The addition of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems’ technical expertise and customer base in markets that are more rapidly adopting electrification further positions us as a global energy storage supplier,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins, which is based in Columbus, Indiana. “By combining our electrification capabilities, portfolio of diverse power solutions, and global network, Cummins is uniquely positioned to lead in electrification.”

“This collaboration with Cummins is an important step for us”, said Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey. “It will enable us to grow our position in high energy battery materials, particularly for heavy duty applications, and apply our chemistry expertise to develop new products. In divesting our automotive battery systems business to Cummins we can focus on our strategy of expanding our eLNO platform and developing commercial battery materials for the full range of transport applications.”

In October 2017, Cummins announced the acquisition of Brammo, which develops low-voltage battery packs for mobile and stationary applications. The Johnson Matthey Battery Systems deal adds high-voltage battery expertise. Cummins currently employs approximately 55,400 people worldwide with a turnover of $17.5 billion in 2016.

www.cummins.com