German chemical company BASF has acquired Ovonic Battery Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of EV battery maker Energy Conversion Devices Inc.
Energy Conversion Devices, of suburban Detroit, today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company sold Ovonic for $58 million in cash in a transaction that closed Monday.
Former GM Chairman and CEO Robert Stempel served as chairman of ECD for 12 years before leaving the firm in 2007.
Ovonic, a developer of nickel-metal hydride battery technology, has its headquarters and a battery materials research center in suburban Detroit.
Ovonic will now be managed under BASF's battery materials global business unit, which was launched early last month. The battery materials unit will be managed by BASF's catalysts division in Iselin, New Jersey, BASF said in a statement.
Ralf Meixner, senior vice president of BASF's battery materials unit, said in a statement: "Our acquisition of Ovonic provides BASF with an immediate leadership position in NiMH battery technology, as well as long-established commercial relationships with the world's major battery manufacturers."
BASF ranks No. 16 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $10.4 billion in 2010. Europe accounted for 50 percent of that total.