September 12, 2019 / 8:34 AM / 8 days ago

Wacker Chemie takes 25% in British battery materials maker

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Wacker Chemie AG in the south-east Bavarian town of Burghausen April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German speciality chemicals maker Wacker Chemie (WCHG.DE) on Thursday said it had bought a quarter in British battery materials maker Nexeon Ltd.

No financial details were disclosed.

Nexeon makes silicon-based anode materials that improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, Wacker Chemie said, adding the investment would intensify “its research activities on silicon-based materials for high-performance batteries”.

Anodes for standard lithium-ion batteries are currently made from graphite materials, with suppliers including SGL Carbon (SGCG.DE), but researchers are working on alternatives based on cheaper silicon.

UBS analysts said last year that Umicore (UMI.BR) has been among the companies working on silicon anodes.

The anode forms the battery’s positive pole which absorbs lithium ions during charging.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Thomas Seythal

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