BASF makes third battery tech acquisition this year

Another step in purposeful and swift expansion of electrolytes portfolio for high-performance batteries. Expertise enhanced for automotive and battery manufacturers in Europe.

BASF will acquire the electrolytes business for high-performance batteries fromGerman Chemical and Pharmaceutical Company Merck.The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

The acquisition comprises the technologies and products for enhancing battery performance that Merck has developed, patented and brought to market. These include the complete line of finished electrolyte formulations which are marketed under the Selectilyte® brand. Also included is a variety of additives for electrolytes used to produce lithium ion batteries (LIBs). The transaction also covers Merck’s research portfolio with respect to novel electrolytes and additives. In this way BASF is strengthening its LIB electrolytes business by adding innovative solutions for its customers.

"This acquisition enhances the expertise we offer to automotive and battery manufacturers around the world. We emphasize again our goal of positioning BASF as a solution-oriented partner to battery manufacturers in this dynamic market," said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and BASF’s Research Executive Director, and added, "The electrolyte portfolio developed by Merck and their established market channels will provide additional impetus to our efforts to develop into a reliable supplier of electrolyte formulations offering innovative and customized solutions for battery manufacturers."

"Our successful electrolytes business has excellent prospects for the future within BASF. We are pleased to say that the customers and development partners of Merck will have a reliable and very innovative new supplier in BASF – a supplier who will continue to promote the future topic of electromobility powerfully," saidDr. Klaus Bofinger, who leads Merck’s unit Advanced Technologies, which included the divested business..

Electrolytes are complex formulations that ensure the transport of electric charge inside the battery. High-quality electrolytes can provide essential prerequisites for raising battery performance.

In May 2011 BASF announced the formation of a global electrolytes team to develop and sell high-quality electrolyte formulations for battery manufacturers. This team, initially formed in the Intermediates division of BASF, will be integrated into the new "Battery Materials" business unit within BASF’s Catalysts division in the course of 2012.

Batteries are the key technology for electromobility of the future. BASF intends to invest a three-digit million euro sum in researching, developing and producing advanced battery materials over the next five years as announced in 2011. As well as developing materials for lithium-ion batteries, BASF is also researching future battery concepts such as lithium-sulfur or lithium-air. With its research activities BASF is substantially contributing to making electric cars affordable, environment-friendly and sustainable. "For this we need batteries and further innovative components that provide a greater driving range with lower cost," Kreimeyer emphasized.