Li-ion battery joint venture partners Bosch and Samsung SDI are disbanding their South Korea-based SB LiMotive JV. Samsung SDI will pay Bosch $95 million for Bosch’s 50% stake in the venture; in turn, Bosch will acquire SB LiMotive’s US and German subsidiaries for $38 million, for a net payment to Bosch of $57 million. The agreement is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities.
Bosch will take over the subsidiary SB LiMotive Germany GmbH. Based in Stuttgart, it focuses on systems engineering, battery management systems, prototyping, marketing, and sales. At the same time, US-based Cobasys will be integrated into Bosch. This subsidiary, which is important for the US market, has locations in Orion (MI) and Springboro (OH).
When it comes to electromobility, a market with great potential for the future, we have already made a successful start with diverse projects, and are driving forward many other developments. In restructuring our operations, we can respond better to our customers’ requirements with respect to market focus and speed, and will continue to work all out to expand our market activities.—Dr. Bernd Bohr, the chairman of the Automotive Group of Robert Bosch GmbH
Steps will be taken to ensure that all development and supply agreements will be continued. In addition, the parties have agreed to grant each other access to patents.
Bosch plans to further expand its activities relating to electrochemistry and the production of lithium-ion battery cells. The objective is to cooperate closely with specialist partners from industry and higher education to establish research and development work on high-performance battery cells in Germany and to set up a European specialist network. This will enhance capabilities relating not only to batteries for electromobility, but also to the stationary energy storage devices of the future.
The establishment of a manufacturing facility in Europe is a further important component of Bosch strategy. The aim is to efficiently combine the know-how of German and European suppliers when it comes to materials and the construction of complex manufacturing facilities.
The Bosch Group spends €400 million (US$504 million) a year on electromobility. In this area, Bosch currently employs more than 1,100, including the roughly 300 battery specialists at SB LiMotive Deutschland in Stuttgart and Cobasys in the United States.