Finance Yorkshire has realised its investment in Sheffield-based Faradion after the sodium-ion battery business was acquired by India-based Reliance Industries.
The sale represents a significant exit for Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn Fund, which initially invested in Faradion in 2010 and has since made follow-on investments to help the company scale up its innovative technology and go from strength to strength.
The exit represents a return of more than 10 times Finance Yorkshire’s total investment.
Reliance Industries has acquired a 100 per cent shareholding in Faradion in a deal which values the company at £100m. Reliance will provide a further £25m on top of its purchase price to support a commercial roll-out of Faradion’s batteries, which it intends to use at its green energy giga complex project at Jamnagar, India.
Faradion, based at The Innovation Centre, Sheffield, was founded in 2010 by Dr Jerry Baker, Dr Chris Wright and Ashwin Kumaraswamy and is one of the leading global battery technology companies.
It has a competitively superior, strategic, wide-reaching and extensive IP portfolio covering several aspects of sodium-ion technology including the development of batteries for electric vehicles.
Finance Yorkshire chief executive Alex McWhirter said: “This is a significant exit for our Seedcorn Fund, representing an excellent return on our investment and one of the biggest we have achieved.
“Alongside Mercia Asset Management, Finance Yorkshire is proud to be a founding investor in Faradion and through strategic follow-on investments, Finance Yorkshire has helped the business to advance its technology and thrive on a bigger stage.
“The return on our investment in Faradion ranks as one of the top returns from JEREMIE funds across the country. The exit will be added to Finance Yorkshire’s new fund which will invest more than £50m over the next five years in SMEs across Yorkshire and the Humber.”
James Newman, Finance Yorkshire chairman, said: “Working with our Seedcorn Fund managers from Mercia and the Faradion management team, significant technological advances have been achieved. Reliance Industries’ future financial commitment into Faradion secures a legacy for the region.”
James Quinn, CEO of Faradion, said: “Faradion has been one of the first to champion sodium-ion battery technology. Reliance is the perfect partner for supporting Faradion’s growth in the rapidly expanding Indian market and to jointly speed up the transformation of the global energy market. Becoming part of the Reliance group validates the incredible work our team has done in advancing sodium-ion technology.”
Finance Yorkshire’s new fund has been created from the combined legacies successfully created by Finance Yorkshire and the former South Yorkshire Investment Fund. Finance Yorkshire’s JEREMIE and Extension Funds invested £113m in more than 500 companies in the region.