BASF in Talks With Japan’s Toda on Battery Materials Combination

  • The chemical companies want to work together in North America
  • Cathode active materials used in lithium-ion car batteries

BASF SE, the world’s largest chemicals company, and Toda Kogyo Corp. of Japan will start exclusive talks on combining their North American businesses to make cathode active materials for car and electronics batteries.

BASF would have a majority ownership stake in the proposed collaboration, the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the combination would build on an existing joint-venture for lithium-ion batteries in Japan.

Lithium-ion batteries are the favored technology for use in electric cars as well as for electricity storage and this has led to a surge in interest from producers of the element as well as manufacturers of chemicals needed for the devices. The lithium-ion automotive market is still in its infancy and could grow by 30 percent annually, Toda Kogyo Chairman Tadashi Kubota said in Tuesday’s statement.

BASF is aiming to be a leading supplier of materials for “high-performance” batteries and has said demand for lithium-ion devices for products like cell phones and laptops is growing by more than 10 percent a year, according to its website.

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