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Lithium-ion battery maker Xalt acquires Magna battery JV

By: Rhoda Miel

January 21, 2014

Lithium-ion battery company Xalt Energy LLC is acquiring the battery and electric vehicle operations of a Magna International Inc. joint venture and already has added jobs at its Midland, Mich., operation.

Xalt was formerly called Dow Kokam LLC before Townsend Ventures LLC's MBP Investors LLC took a majority stake in the company in late 2013.

The acquisition includes the assets and a cash investment from MAHY E-Cell, a joint venture of Aurora, Ontario-based Magna and Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea.

Magna and HHI will retain a minority interest in Xalt, the companies said in a Jan. 21 news release.

"The additional R&D capabilities, the advanced technology and the additional capital and global reach we have acquired complement the tremendous expertise of our engineers and production team," said Xalt Chairman Dennis Townsend, in a statement.

Xalt has increased employment in Midland by 10 percent since MBP took ownership, and the company said it expects to add more jobs during the first quarter of 2014.

The company that is now Xalt opened in 2009 as a joint venture of Dow Chemical Co. and TK Advanced Battery LLC, with operations based in Midland adjacent to Dow.

Magna and Seoul-based HHI formed MAHY E-Cell in 2012 with Magna holding a 60 percent share. The company was intended to combine the two firms' expertise to co-develop a battery cell and battery pack business.

Exact terms of the Xalt deal were not disclosed.

Lithium-ion batteries, which use thermoplastic film in each cell and a variety of plastics in operating components and packs, are used in both all-electric and hybrid electric vehicles.