Tesla (TSLA) sells back Maxwell Technology’s ultracapacitor business to former executives

Tesla (TSLA) has sold back Maxwell Technology’s ultracapacitor business and brand after acquiring it just over two years ago.

Back in 2019, Tesla announced the acquisition of Maxwell Technology, a San Diego-based ultracapacitor and battery company, for over $200 million.

While the company was mostly known for its ultracapacitor business, it had just developed a dry electrode technology for battery cells, and Tesla revealed that it is what the automaker was really after.

Tesla used the technology in its 4680 battery cell unveiled last year.

Nonetheless, Tesla integrated Maxwell’s ultracapacitor business into the company, but it wasn’t clear if it planned to use the technology in its own products.

Two years later, it never did, and we’ve now learned that it sold Maxwell’s ultracapacitor business to UCAP Power, another ultracapacitor business.

UCAP made the announcement in a press release last week:

“UCAP Power, Inc., a leading developer of ultracapacitor-based power solutions, today announced it has completed the purchase of Maxwell Technologies Korea, the Korean-based ultracapacitor business, as well as other related assets including the Maxwell brand.”

The announcement made it sound like UCAP is acquiring Maxwell’s ultracapacitor production based in Korea and the company’s ultracapacitor IP.

UCAP employs several former Tesla and Maxwell employees.

CEO Gordon Schenk was VP of sales for the Maxwell division under Tesla:

Schenk commented on the new acquisition from Tesla:

“We’re thrilled to combine Maxwell Technologies Korea’s ultracapacitor manufacturing capabilities and one of the largest patent and product portfolios in the industry with the growing family of products developed by UCAP Power. This combination creates a clear market leader in the wind turbines, reserve power, automotive transportation, microgrid application markets.”

They didn’t disclose how much they paid for acquiring the Maxwell assets.

When Tesla bought the company back in 2019, it paid $235 million, all in TSLA stocks.

Electrek’s Take

To me, it looks like that Maxwell employees who were more about the ultracapacitor business decided to leave and create their own company after Tesla’s acquisition.

Then, they went back to Tesla to buy back the ultracapacitor business, which the automaker didn’t seem to care much about.

It looks like a win-win situation. Though, I’d be curious to know how much they paid since it would give us a better idea of much Tesla actually paid for the dry electrode technology.

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