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Wacker Chemie takes 25% in British battery materials maker

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By Reuters
Wacker Chemie takes 25% in British battery materials maker
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Wacker Chemie AG in the south-east Bavarian town of Burghausen April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle   -   Copyright  Michaela Rehle(Reuters)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German speciality chemicals maker Wacker Chemie <WCHG.DE> on Thursday said it had bought a quarter in British battery materials maker Nexeon Ltd.

No financial details were disclosed.

Nexeon makes silicon-based anode materials that improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, Wacker Chemie said, adding the investment would intensify “its research activities on silicon-based materials for high-performance batteries”.

Anodes for standard lithium-ion batteries are currently made from graphite materials, with suppliers including SGL Carbon <SGCG.DE>, but researchers are working on alternatives based on cheaper silicon.

UBS analysts said last year that Umicore <UMI.BR> has been among the companies working on silicon anodes.

The anode forms the battery’s positive pole which absorbs lithium ions during charging.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Thomas Seythal)