Energy Conversion Devices to Divest Ovonic Battery Company

July 19, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) announced that it is initiating a process to divest its Ovonic Battery Company (OBC) subsidiary.

OBC’s principal activities are licensing its advanced battery technologies (including nickel-metal-hydride ("NiMH") and lithium-ion technologies), participating in joint development programs to support application of these technologies, and manufacturing mixed-metal hydroxide cathode materials for sale to its licensees for use in battery production. OBC invented the NiMH rechargeable battery technology that is used globally in most hybrid-electric vehicles, and in many consumer and commercial rechargeable batteries.

OBC states that it has demonstrated great value through sustainable profitability, a strong and growing royalty and license-fee revenue stream, and high-potential growth opportunities. Through its R&D activities, OBC says that it has advanced the state-of-the-art of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, and has an established patent position and world-class manufacturing capability for its proprietary nickel hydroxide cathode materials. OBC is also developing a new technology, the Proton-ion battery, with what the company says is higher energy density and lower cost than today’s battery technologies.

"ECD’s Ovonic Battery Company is a pioneer in developing advanced battery technologies for consumer, stationary and vehicle applications, and enjoys tremendous success licensing its technologies worldwide. Given ECD’s focus on its solar business, we have elected to seek a buyer that will leverage Ovonic Battery Company’s substantial technology portfolio and provide it with a platform for expanding the commercialization and licensing of its advanced battery technologies," said Jay Knoll, Interim President of ECD.