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BASF and Toda Kogyo enter negotiations to form a joint venture for Li-ion cathode active materials in Japan

BASF and Toda Kogyo Corp., one of the industry leaders in the development and manufacture of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, are entering exclusive negotiations to form a joint venture for cathode active materials (CAM) based in Japan. The proposed joint venture will focus on the production, marketing and sales of a broad range of cathode materials including NCA (Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide); LMO (Lithium Manganese Oxide); and NCM (Nickel Cobalt Manganese) in Japan.

These materials are used in lithium-ion batteries for the automotive, consumer electronics and stationary storage markets. Toda Kogyo and BASF would combine their respective CAM businesses, intellectual property and production assets in Japan to offer the broadest cathode materials product portfolio in the industry. BASF would have a majority ownership stake in the proposed joint venture.

This proposed joint venture with Toda Kogyo Corp. reinforces BASF’s commitment to explore a broad range of opportunities to accelerate our growth and expansion in the global battery materials market.

—Kenneth Lane, President of BASF’s Catalysts division

Product development, quality, productivity and supply capacity are vital factors to drive growth in the lithium-ion battery market. Synergies from the joint venture between BASF and TODA KOGYO CORP. will greatly strengthen these four key factors, and we will be the ideal partners to meet the demands of such a high growth market.

—Tadashi Kubota, President of Toda Kogyo

BASF plans to become the leading system supplier of functional materials for high-performance batteries, and has combined its own R&D with acquisitions to build a product portfolio including cathode materials and electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries, as well as licensing nickel metal hydride technology.

On the Li-ion CAM side, BASF is the only company worldwide licensed to produce and market materials developed by both Argonne National Laboratories—the leader in NCM (Nickel Cobalt Manganese) technology—and LiFePO4+C Licensing, the leader in LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) technology.

BASF is also researching future battery technologies such as lithium-sulfur and lithium-air. As an example, BASF is working with Sion Power to develop lithium-sulfur technology with a mid-term goal of tripling the gravimetric energy capacity. In 2012, invested $50 million to acquire an equity ownership position in Sion Power.

Toda Kogyo specializes in the Wet Synthesis Technology of metal oxide, and manufactures cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries; coloring materials including pigments and toners; magnetic powder materials; ferrite materials; and other various magnetic materials.

On the CAM side, it currently offers Lithium cobaltate, Lithium-nickel oxide, and Lithium manganate materials. Toda Kogyo is also an Argonne licensee.



Acquisitions and JVs may be the best ways to get around costly patent rights and avoid associated legal battles.

Secondly, joined funding and efforts are often required to commercialise a new product.

BASF is on the right track?

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