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March 31st, 2023 | 18:08 CEST

Altech Advanced Materials, Mercedes Benz, FREYR Battery - Stocks with longevity

  • Technology
  • Batteries
  • Innovations
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The battery industry is currently experiencing a significant upswing, driven by the EU's plan to phase out combustion engines in twelve years. Companies like Altech Advanced Materials are working hard to improve conventional batteries' charging capacity. Mercedes-Benz is feeling the impact of losing its third-largest shareholder, demonstrating that German thoroughness is at odds with innovation. The Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund has turned its back on the Stuttgart-based automaker, while Scandinavian battery producer FREYR Battery is currently doing much better. They have teamed up with four global players to explore strategic partnerships.

time to read: 4 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka
ISIN: Altech Advanced Materials AG | DE000A31C3Y4 , MERCEDES-BENZ GROUP AG | DE0007100000 , Freyr Battery | LU2360697374

Table of contents:

    Uwe Ahrens, Direktor, Altech Advanced Materials AG
    "[...] Silumina Anodes® is a ceramic-coated graphite/silicon anode composite material that we plan to produce in Schwarze Pumpe, Saxony. Here, we aim to supply manufacturers of batteries for e-cars with an application-ready drop-in technology that is low-cost, high-performance and safe. [...]" Uwe Ahrens, Direktor, Altech Advanced Materials AG

    Full interview


    Mercedes-Benz: Third largest shareholder exits

    Things are not going well for the Stuttgart-based automaker at the moment. Restructuring is still ongoing within the Company. And now, after more than 50 years, one of the largest shareholders says a quiet farewell: the Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund has decided to partially withdraw from the Stuttgart-based automaker Mercedes-Benz. 20 million Mercedes-Benz shares were sold, and the fund's stake was reduced from 6.8 to just under 5%.

    The former third-largest shareholder, Kuwait, thus achieved proceeds of almost EUR 1.4 billion. The sovereign wealth fund is taking advantage of the rise in Mercedes shares to profit from the partial sale. Over the past three years, shares have almost quadrupled and risen by 40% since mid-2022. Mercedes-Benz confirmed that they were informed in advance of the sale plans. The fund, which has been investing in Mercedes since the 1970s, plans to spread its shares more broadly in the fund but remains an important shareholder.

    The two largest shareholders in Mercedes-Benz are the Chinese automaker BAIC with 9.98% and investor Li Shufu of Geely, with 9.69%, both of whom have agreed with the Stuttgart-based company to maintain their stake.

    Altech Advanced Materials: Increases performance of e-batteries

    If it were up to the EU and members of Fridays for Future, combustion engines, such as those produced by Mercedes-Benz, would have already been abolished. And in 12 years, that will be the case, as the countries of the European Union have finally decided in Brussels that no new cars with combustion engines will be allowed from 2035 onwards. However, due to pressure from the German government, a special regulation for e-fuels was introduced.

    Electric batteries are a way to reduce CO₂ emissions worldwide. But this technology is still susceptible to disruption. Drivers of standard electric cars struggle to drive further without a recharge. The technical infrastructure is not yet suitable for driving from Munich over the Brenner Pass to Italy without stress. Charging battery packs can sometimes take one night, leading to involuntary hotel stays while travelling.

    To increase the performance of batteries, Altech Advanced Materials is pioneering innovative coating processes that help prevent premature battery charging loss. Typically, the anodes of lithium-ion batteries are made of graphite. At the beginning of the first charging cycle, inactive layers of lithium ions form, leading to loss. With each additional usage cycle, this loss increases. As a result, about 8% of lithium ions are lost during the first battery charging cycle.

    Now Altech Advanced Materials has found an efficient solution to the coating problem of aluminum oxide on graphite anode particles: the use of high-purity submicron alumina particles as submicron aluminum oxide particles, which improve coulombic efficiency, cycle stability, high-speed performance, and fast charging capability - especially in the first charging cycle. These novel coatings are used in the automotive industry, among others, and Volkswagen will start its in-house battery production in two years. Altech Advanced Materials has the potential to become a growth candidate, as the charging capacity will be one of the decisive factors for buyers of electric cars. Those who want to meet CEO Uwe Ahrens live via Zoom have the opportunity on May 10, 2023, at the 7th International Investment Forum. Here is the registration link.

    FREYR Battery: Strategic partnership with four global players

    FREYR Battery, a Scandinavian company that aims to provide clean battery solutions for large industries to reduce global emissions, has announced a strategic partnership with four global corporations: Siemens, Glencore, Caterpillar, and Nidec. Together, they are committed to sharing a common vision for battery technology to drive the energy transition.

    The partnership aims to promote the use of batteries in Europe and North America to achieve sustainability goals and support the decarbonization of customer operations. They will also use their partnership to create robust, sustainable, circular supply chains for battery materials and technologies.

    Behind the fluffy message is the exploration of joint ventures and common economic interests. Areas for economic cooperation include the production of battery cells, integration of packs and modules, digital and software services, mining and refining, stationary energy storage solutions, electric mobility, and recycling and end-of-life solutions.

    In short, they want to work together and see how it goes. If implemented, the sales potential of FREYR Battery would increase tremendously. When this will happen remains unclear.

    For Altech Advanced Materials, the core question of endurance and performance of electric batteries is the driver behind the development of their innovative technology. The solution has the potential to become a bridge builder in the energy transition. The longevity of electric batteries for frequent drivers, which could hit the road thanks to Altech Advanced Materials' invention, is a strong USP for automakers. DAX companies like Mercedes-Benz would be ideal partners to restore Europe's economic position to the top. Strong alliances in the economy help companies like FREYR Battery to explore supply chains and production possibilities in the consortium. Patience is required from investors until all plans are implemented. Therefore, the mentioned candidates are all stocks with longevity factors.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author

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