Company collapsed into administration earlier this year

The Australian company which was supposedly meant to buy failed battery start-up Britishvolt has missed the deadline to pay for the business.

Filings from administrators at EY said the final instalment of an £8.6m payment, which was due on 5 April, was still outstanding.

“The sale to the buyer had not completed as the final amount of deferred consideration was due to be paid on 5 April 2023,” the report from EY to creditors last week said.

“As detailed earlier in this report, this amount remains outstanding and as a result, the joint administrators have had to spend a greater amount of time than anticipated in taking steps to preserve and recover this amount.”


ISG was main contractor on the new factory before downing tools a year ago

EY said that the buyer, Recharge Industries, had defaulted on its agreement to buy the business, which was meant to build a massive battery factory in the north east of England.

It added: “As noted in the proposals, the buyer purchased the company’s business and assets for £8.57 million.

“This amount was payable in a number of instalments. The final instalment remains unpaid and overdue. As a result, the buyer is in default of the business sale agreement.”

The report showed the Britishvolt likely owed somewhere between £130m and £160m when it went out of business.

A spokeswoman for Recharge Investments told the BBC that the timing of the final instalment to be paid to EY depended on a “funding facility, which when closed will also cover the cost of the land acquisition” and provide extra cash for the project. She added that it expects to close the deal in August.

In June, Australian police raided the offices of Britishvolt’s new Australian owner on suspicion of tax fraud.

The Australian Federal Police attended the North Geelong office of Scale Facilitation, the ultimate owner of Recharge, after reports in the country that staff at the firm had not been paid.

Scale, which denied wrongdoing, bought the assets of Britishvolt in February through its subsidiary Recharge Industries.

The troubled project had gone into administration after running out of cash. Main contractor ISG, which paused work on the 95 ha site last August, had said it was “ready, willing and able” to restart the job following the takeover.

The factory had been a flagship project for Boris Johnson’s levelling up policy and the government had committed £100m to Britishvolt if certain construction milestones were hit.

The facility would produce much-needed batteries for electric cars and is seen as crucial for the long-term sustainability of the UK car industry.