P3 group GmbH takes strategic stake in specialist lithium battery manufacturer Custom Cells Itzehoe GmbH

18-Aug-2017 - Germany

P3 group has this week secured a stake in Custom Cells, a manufacturer of lithium accumulators for specialist applications. As part of the deal, P3 group has acquired the stakes held by the company’s long-standing shareholders.

Founded in 2012, Custom Cells manufactures tailored electrode foils and special types of rechargeable lithium batteries, while also assembling battery systems for niche markets. Through its strategic investment, P3 group intends to support Custom Cell’s strong business model, leverage synergies and expand its own markets.

“Companies are currently locked in a battle over battery-cell costs, but this could soon turn into a battle over performance. This investment gives us access to technologies and solutions produced on a small scale at a very early stage, enabling us to become familiar with the next generation of lithium accumulators. The move strengthens our competitiveness in the fiercely contested e-mobility market,” says Dr. Christoph Theis, Founder and Managing Director of the corporate consulting firm P3 group.

The demands placed on custom lithium batteries far exceed the capabilities of standard cells in many specific fields of application. As regards medical devices, for instance, there is demand for high-performance, autoclavable and battery-powered surgical instruments that don’t hinder surgeons when they are performing operations – a practically impossible task without cells that are stable under high temperatures. Tailored cells are also becoming increasingly important in the aviation sector, where the use of standard materials is not a viable option in view of the stringent safety requirements. The use of new battery electrodes offering increased energy density could also completely redefine another field of application – drones.

The operations of P3 automotive GmbH centre on e-mobility, with the P3 subsidiary seeing major potential for specialised battery cells in the auto industry in particular. In this sector, custom battery cells could soon demonstrate that adjusted cell properties will become a relevant factor in competition and a USP for automakers or car models.

“In P3, we have found an excellent partner for Custom Cells,” says Torge Thönnessen, Founder and Co-CEO of the battery manufacturer. “P3’s support and investment commitments will enable us to press ahead with ramping up production capacities and participate in strategic projects, helping us to further establish our unique business concept and secure new clients.”

“Our exit enables CCI to enter its next growth phase with P3 Group,” says Dr. Andreas Jerschensky, Head of Corporate Development / M&A at ALTANA AG, which helped establish the company alongside Innovationstarter Fonds Hamburg (IFH) and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF). “At the same time, we are looking forward to continuing our close collaboration with CCI as part of various innovation projects.”

Dörte Bunge, Investment Manager at IFH, is pleased to see that “Custom Cells has put itself in a great position to achieve further growth through P3 Group’s strategic investment. We wish the Custom Cells team every success moving forward.”

Hamburg state councillor Dr. Rolf Bösinger says that “the Hamburg senate attaches a great deal of importance to creating an environment in the city that gives individuals the courage to found start-ups. Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg – it’s a fitting name for a fund that provides valuable support. Those looking to launch an innovative company don’t just need to have a bright idea – they also need creativity, courage and initial funding to get things off the ground. Today’s sale is proof of how successful that approach is!”

Dr. Frank Hensel, Senior Investment Manager at HTGF, strongly believes that, in P3 Group, “CCI has not only found a very good strategic partner to boost its production capacities, but also an excellent launchpad for its technologies. We are delighted that our investment has helped advance a pioneering technology, and also that we have now achieved a profitable exit.”

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