BASF announces the acquisition of Cleveland, Ohio-based Novolyte Technologies, a manufacturer of electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries and specialty chemicals for several key market segments. BASF purchases Novolyte from Arsenal Capital Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

The acquisition comprises Novolyte’s Energy Storage activities focused on developing, producing and marketing performance electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries. BASF also buys Novolyte's performance materials business in which the company is among the leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals in North America. The portfolio includes aryl phosphines, high-performance solvents and custom-made specialties. The acquisition includes 10 patent families in the fields of electrolyte formulation and performance chemicals held by Novolyte. Additionally within the framework of the acquisition, BASF will continue a joint venture of Novolyte with Korean partner Foosung Co., Ltd., a global producer of the high-purity specialty salt Lithium Hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6), a key material for manufacturing lithium-ion battery electrolytes. These electrolytes are key performance components in the fast-growing market of lithium-ion batteries for automotive, consumer and industrial markets.

Novolyte, which employs 167 people, operates production sites in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in Suzhou, China. An additional site for LiPF6 production is currently under construction in Nantong, China, to be operated by the Foosung/BASF joint venture. Both Chinese sites are located in the greater Shanghai area.

“With this recent acquisition, BASF is now positioned as a global supplier of lithium battery electrolytes with production sites in Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific region“, said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the board of executive directors and BASF’s research executive director. “The acquisition also complements our current offering of amines, diols, organic acids, polyalcohols and specialties, and strengthens our footprint in the North American market.”

Ralf Meixner, senior vice president of BASF’s Global Battery Materials Business, said: ”Our acquisition of Novolyte Technologies further positions BASF to achieve its long-term objective of becoming the leading provider of functional materials and components to serve cell and battery manufacturers worldwide. This is the latest in a series of strategic steps we have taken to strengthen our technology position while building a broad portfolio of battery materials technologies that will help us drive the future of electromobility.” 

Hanjoo Song, chief executive director of Foosung, said his company is "very excited to work with the world-renowned chemical company BASF in this fast-growing battery materials market. Through this newly established joint venture company, Foosung can retain its position as a high-quality LiPF6 manufacturer while pursuing further opportunities to support the development of the global battery market."