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Baillie Gifford backs Swedish battery cell maker

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Baillie Gifford backs Swedish battery cell maker as European Growth trust makes first private investment

Northvolt founded by Tesla alumni
David Brenchley, Investment Week, 14 October 2020

Baillie Gifford’s investment into battery cell supplier Northvolt has become its European Growth Trust’s first foray into unlisted stocks, manager Stephen Paice has revealed.

The Edinburgh-based firm was unveiled as one of five new backers of the Swedish firm, which raised $600m to enable it to invest further in capacity expansion, research & development and recycling.

Other new shareholders include Yorkshire-based Bridford Investments and New York-headquartered Baron Capital. Existing investors taking part in the raise include Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Scania.

Northvolt said the fundraise would help boost its R&D activities, aimed at supporting its target of establishing 150 GWh of manufacturing capacity in Europe by 2030.

Paice said Baillie Gifford’s contribution was spread across a number of its closed-ended mandates, including the £471m Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust he and co-manager Moritz Sitte took over last year, the first unquoted firm in the portfolio.

It is the first private investment the pair have made since being named managers.

Paice said the firm hoped to produce the world’s greenest batteries, which would be used in electric vehicles, storage systems and other industrial applications.

“It is a fantastic endeavour and shows you the ambition for European entrepreneurs to create something world-leading and to make a positive impact at the same time,” Paice told investors on a webinar hosted by QuotedData.

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