Amte Power, a British maker of specialist batteries designed to power high-performance electric vehicles is planning to float on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market. Based in the relative backwater of Thurso, at the northmost tip of mainland Scotland, Amte is one of the UK’s leaders in the young domestic market for electric car battery cells.
Amte provides its battery technology to Jaguar Land Rover, Williams and Cosworth and hopes to raise £7 million through an IPO targeting a £50 million valuation. It has been funded to date by raising £17.5 million in venture capital from private investors, government grants and seed funds contributed by automotive manufacturers.
The Scottish start-up’s speciality is electric battery cells that offer the burst of power needed for high-performance vehicles. It’s a different variation on the technology needed to provide long range on a single charge. It is targeting companies developing high-end and sports EVs and expects to work with customers such as Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche. It has also held talks with JVC, whose electric construction vehicles also rely on bursts of high energy.
Amte Power was founded in 2013 by former engineers at defence technology group Qinetiq. Amte still licenses much of the science its battery cell technology is based on from Qinetiq. The company’s name is an acronym of the old Admirality Marine Technology Establishment in tribute to the fact its batteries technology was originally developed by research into new power sources for submarines.
Kevin Brundish, Amte’s chief executive and a co-founder is optimistic on the domestic market for battery cell tech, commenting:
“Britain absolutely can step up in the homegrown battery arena. We do not lack for competence and experience in this country which is also very much the home for high-performance automotive.”
The UK market is reliant on homegrown companies such as Amte, with the world’s biggest battery-makers and developers from Japan, South Korea and China showing little interest in investing in UK-based facilities. But the company is making progress and recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Britishvolt, the start-up planning a £2.6 billion Gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland. The facility will employ around 3000 workers and produce the battery packs to power hundreds of thousands of EVs a year.
Amte’s founders and directors hold around 30% of the company’s equity, with the rest split between venture capital investors. The largest private shareholding of the hundred or so wealthy investors in the company is held by Ken Randall, a former insurance executive and well-known British tech investor.
On announcing Amte’s decision to IPO, Mr Brundish explained:
“There are a lot of dynamics around battery cells at the moment. We have developed the products and this feels like the right time to float.”
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