Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has acquired a majority interest in Xalt Energy, a Midland, Mich.-based developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion technology for heavy-duty mobility applications.
Freudenberg also has an agreement to acquire all remaining shares of Xalt over the next few years, according to a Freudenberg news release issued Feb. 4.
Freudenberg originally acquired a 31-percent interest in Xalt in March 2018 through a multi-million-dollar investment, Freudenberg said.
"Now, increasing demands for lithium-ion battery technology that specifically targets commercial vehicles as well as marine and rail applications has prompted Freudenberg to acquire a more than 50 percent share of the battery manufacturer," the company said.
The additional multi-million-dollar investment will allow Xalt to revitalize its production facilities at Midland and increase its research and development into new mobility technologies, according to Freudenberg.
"We are pleased that this investment provides a much needed capital boost to Xalt Energy and also puts Freudenberg in the driver's seat," said Freudenberg Sealing Technologies CEO Claus Moehlenkamp.
The investment will enhance Freudenberg's ability to supply its customers with lithium-ion materials, products and systems that meet new, complex technical challenges, Moehlenkamp said.
Xalt specializes in applying lithium-ion technology to large-scale, high-energy, high-power storage solutions for industries including commercial transportation, rail, marine, industrial operations and automotive, according to Freudenberg.
Its 460,000-square-foot automated assembly facility in Midland produces cells, packs, modules and management controls, and software for lithium-ion power systems, Freudenberg said. Its R&D facility is in Pontiac, Mich., the company said.
Xalt will retain its current name and become an affiliated brand of the Freudenberg Group based in Germany, according to Freudenberg. Jeff Michalski, a long-standing Freudenberg executive, will take over the position of Xalt CEO from the retiring Richard Cundiff, it said.
Freudenberg and Xalt already have entered into strategic partnership agreements to provide lithium-ion battery systems to transit bus maker New Flyer of America and other heavy-duty segment leaders, Freudenberg said.
Xalt also is working through the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium with such major auto makers as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., it said.