Battery developer UltraCharge to hit ASX after AU$3.5m reverse takeover

Lithium ion battery developer UltraCharge is expected to trade on the Australian Securities Exchange following the closure of a fully subscribed initial public offering in October.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

The reverse takeover of Lithex Resources by Israeli lithium ion battery developer UltraCharge (formerly Voltape) is well underway, with the mining entity closing its initial public offering on October 25.

Lithex, which raised AU$3.5 million at 5 cents per share, will be renamed to UltraCharge and expects to be reinstated on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) by the end of the month.

In May, the Perth-based mining entity announced it would acquire 100 percent of shares in UltraCharge -- 485.9 million shares -- which at the time of the battery developer's trading price of 5.9 cents, would equal to AU$28.7 million.

The money raised on the ASX will be used primarily for the production and commercialisation of UltraCharge's battery technology, which replaces graphite used for the anode of a lithium ion battery (LIB) with a nanotube gel material made from titanium dioxide.

UltraCharge claims its batteries will be cost-efficient due to its use of low-cost raw materials and an affordable patented production method -- developed in collaboration with a research group in Singapore's Nanyang Technical University -- that turns titanium dioxide particles into nanotubes a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair strand.

Battery manufacturers will also be able to easily integrate the new anode into their production processes, the company claims.

One of the key advantages of UltraCharge's nanotechnology is its rapid charging capabilities. The company claims 80 percent of a smartphone can be charged in under six minutes -- compared to the current duration of 60 minutes or more. It also claims that 10 to 15 minutes of charging will "dramatically increase" an electric vehicle's capabilities.

The batteries are also durable, according to UltraCharge, with an expected life expectancy of 10,000 to 15,000 charging cycles, about 20 times that of current batteries.

Another advantage the company boasts is enhanced safety. UltraCharge claims its batteries will be carbon-free with the ability to avoid thermal runaway or overheating. This is one of the main causes of fire in traditional energy storage systems, as reported recently in the smartphone market.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, which are fitted with rechargeable LIBs, caught fire in multiple cases around the world, prompting Samsung to issue a full recall of the devices and eventually pull the plug on future production.

After denying a battery deal with Samsung in June, Tesla teamed up with Panasonic to build a large-scale manufacturing plant called the Gigafactory in order to develop electric vehicle batteries.

In March, British electronics manufacturer Dyson announced it would invest $1.44 billion on battery development over the next five years, expecting to make Tesla-like battery technology. It began exploring battery tech in 2015 with the $90 million acquisition of Satki3, a US-based company whose solid-state lithium-ion batteries reportedly have twice the energy storage potential of standard lithium-ion batteries, at a half to a third of the cost.

MIT spinout SolidEnergy Systems' long life, lithium ion batteries were also scheduled for launch in November for drones, followed by smartphones and wearables next year, and electric cars in 2018.

UltraCharge is among more than 100 technology companies that have debuted on the ASX in the past two years, particularly through a wave of backdoor listings. In September, Singapore's Dropsuite issued a prospectus to raise AU$8 million to complete the reverse takeover of Perth-based Excalibur Mining Limited.

At the start of the year, Canadian data security firm Zyber Secure Mobile Solutions hit the ASX with a AU$3 million backdoor listing. A week later, technology and entertainment company MSM commenced trading on the ASX after successfully raising AU$7 million as part of a reverse takeover of Minerals Corporation.

Another Canadian firm, Kabuni, listed on the ASX last September following a AU$7 million reverse takeover of Magnolia Resources, a mineral exploration company based in Perth.

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