Troubled battery-maker AMTE Power may be just days away from administration, it emerged today.
The company said its financial situation is “becoming ever more critical”.
Dozens of jobs in Caithness and a £160 million “gigafactory” planned for Dundee are under threat.
Thurso-based AMTE warned on June 15 it needed a fresh injection of capital “within no less than the next four weeks”.
A few weeks later the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-listed company said it was considering “all credible options”, including a sale of the business.
Company says it needs to ‘implement a solution’ within the next few business days
In an update to the London Stock Exchange today AMTE said: “The company continues to be in discussions with existing and potential investors concerning raising further finance. However, given the further passage of time since the most recent announcement on June 29 2023, the company’s financial situation is becoming ever more critical.
“Having managed its resources, the company now needs to implement a solution within the next few business days. Whilst active discussions continue with existing and potential investors, there can be no certainty of the outcome of these discussions, in which case putting the company into administration is ever more likely.
“In the event that the company is put into administration, trading of its shares on AIM would be suspended with immediate effect.”
AMTE also warned the prospects of shareholders getting their money back in the event of an administration “would be remote”.
“Further announcements will be made as and when appropriate,” it added.
Share price collapse
Shares in the firm plummeted after the update – the stock was lower by more than half before a slight recovery to 4.35p by market close.
The company employs 35 people in Thurso, where it manufactures its two core product battery cells – Ultra Prime and Ultra Safe. Investment has recently gone into ramping up production there.
AMTE announced last July it would build its first “gigafactory” at the former Michelin site in Dundee, creating 215 direct and 800 indirect jobs. The facility was expected to be up and running by the third quarter of 2025.
The proposed gigafactory was expected to be capable of producing more than 8 million battery cells a year, allowing AMTE to rapidly scale up production. Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, a joint venture between French tyre giant Michelin, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee Council, was chosen as the preferred site for the new factory.
AMTE specialises in lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries for energy storage and electric cars.
The company was founded in 2013 and secured an AIM listing in March 2021.
Its purpose-built cell manufacturing facility in Thurso is the second largest in the UK.
The firm also has a product development team based in Oxford, part of a 75-strong total workforce.
First signs of trouble
AMTE warned last December it would need to raise additional capital by April 2023 in order to meet its then current operating costs.
The company subsequently secured a £580,000 loan from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support its operation in Thurso.
On March 31 the firm said it had drawn down a new £580,000 loan facility. Less than a month later it announced it had secured an additional £1m through a convertible loan.