Targeting Next-Generation Silicon Sulfur Cells for Global EV and Electric Aircraft Markets.
Strategic UK Acquisition and Expansion
Gelion successfully completes £4.0m capital raise and welcomes OXLiD¹, a UK lithium sulfur innovator, to the group.
It was announced on 9 November 2023 that the Company had conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of OXLiD for an aggregate consideration of up to approximately £4.2 million and that it had conditionally raised approximately £4.0 million (before expenses) through the Placing and Subscription at a price of 24 pence per share.
The Board believes the Acquisition of OXLiD will build on the recent strategic progress the Group has made and act as a further catalyst to establish the foundations for strategic partnerships with major supply chain and industry participants (upstream and downstream), providing a commercially attractive route to market for Gelion’s technology.
The Board views the key value drivers of OXLiD as being:
People – The OXLiD team consists of five highly experienced scientists with significant battery research experience including doctorate degrees from top UK universities. OXLiD has plans to expand the team further in the coming months to further accelerate progress.
Technology/IP – Five patent applications, an exclusive licence and an exclusive option over a further licence.
Facilities – Entrenched relationships with blue chip academic institutions (Oxford, Nottingham, UCL, Southampton) and access to the UK’s LiSTAR and Faraday Institution’s supported technological research network. The Faraday Institution is the UK’s premier research institute aiming to advance battery science and technology and is running a Lithium Sulfur Technology Accelerator (LiSTAR) program specifically focused on LiS battery technology.
Products – Capability to accelerate development and rate of testing and production of prototypes for research and commercial demonstrations utilising established relationships with partners such as Fraunhofer IWS in Germany.
Revenue – OXLiD has undrawn approved grant funding of approximately £0.8 million which will be available to the Company post-Acquisition as well as a relationship with Sanyo Trading, from which revenue was generated in FY22, which Gelion wishes to explore further.
UK/EEA LiS – The Acquisition will enable Gelion to establish a UK research and development hub providing closer proximity to potential European customers and strategic partners, with improved access to a wider pool of leading LiS focused universities and research institutions.
As part of the £1.9 million Faraday Battery Challenge project which it is currently leading, OXLiD recently demonstrated a new cathode material for semi solid-state Li-S technology with highly competitive discharge capacities above 1,500 mAh/g (compared with ~200 mAh/g typical for lithium-ion) and good cyclability. Since then, OXLiD has been focusing to increase the scale of production of the cathode material with the aim to test and demonstrate high energy pouch cell (industry standard cell format) prototypes early next year. OXLiD has also began work on developing a unique coating technology to increase the performance of lithium metal anodes.
Further, the Acquisition of OXLiD includes an IP portfolio (five patent applications) which the Board believe will increase the Group’s ability to exploit the Johnson Matthey and Oxis Energy IP portfolio accelerating the path to product validation and commercialisation in the rapidly emerging LiS market. OXLiD has filed five patent families in the last 24 months, to protect advancements in technology developments. In addition, OXLiD also has an exclusive option for a licence agreement with the University of Nottingham for the use of catalysts to increase charge/discharge rates and has been granted an exclusive development licence by the University of Oxford for the purpose of developing cutting edge research around increasing cycle life in lithium metal batteries.
Group will achieve a UK presence by establishing a lab at a top UK university and build on OXLiD’s relationships with LiSTAR (Lithium Sulfur Technology Accelerator) participants, which is one of the ten Faraday Institution projects aiming to place the UK at the forefront of battery development. OXLiD has already secured over £1.4 million in grant funding through the Faraday Battery Challenge and other programs and will further benefit from additional funding and knowledge sharing within the UK ecosystem.
The areas of technology that OXLiD has been developing complements the work that Gelion has been doing. The Company is progressing electrolytes that can support multiple anode chemistries and additives to control polysulphide shuttle (the main failure mechanism in traditional lithium-sulfur batteries), with lithium anode technology, catalysts, and improved cell designs coming from the Acquisition. The Group will leverage the partnership OXLiD has with a European cell manufacturer to continue to demonstrate the technology in the commercially relevant pouch cell formats throughout 2024.
The combination of these technologies and IP places Gelion in a strong position. The Group is protected by a solid IP moat underpinned by leading research conducted by sector leading scientists, as the Company strives toward its goal of achieving performance leadership in LiS coupled with cost effective chemistry, the completion of the Acquisition of OXLiD further seeks to enhance this position.
John Wood, CEO of Gelion, commented:
Dr Adrien Amigues, Founder and CEO of OXLiD, said:
¹ Subject to shareholder approval, November 2023