Johnson Matthey to exit battery materials business
Johnson Matthey (JM) announced that it has decided to pursue the sale of all or parts of its battery materials business after concluding that the potential returns will not be adequate to justify further investment.
A British multinational speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company, Johnson Matthey has been working to commercialise its range of high nickel cathode materials, principally for the automotive industry.
Battery materials rapidly turning into commoditised market
“Whilst demand for battery materials is accelerating, so is competition from alternative technologies and other manufacturers. Consequently this is rapidly turning into a high volume, commoditised market,” Johnson Matthey said in a statement.
“In recent months, as JM has been exploring strategic partnerships, it has also become clear that our capital intensity is too high compared with other more established large scale, low cost producers.”
Johnson Matthey said it is making good progress in its other growth areas, such as in hydrogen technologies, circularity and the decarbonisation of the chemicals value chain.
Focus on more attractive growth areas
“This decision will allow us to accelerate our investment and focus on more attractive growth areas, especially where we have leadership positions such as in hydrogen technologies, circularity and the decarbonisation of the chemicals value chain,” said Robert MacLeod, chief executive.
The company also announced that MacLeod will step down as chief executive on March 1, 2022, after nearly eight years as chief executive. He will stay on to support the transition process until the company’s Annual General Meeting on July 21, 2022, when he will then retire from Johnson Matthey.
Liam Condon to succeed as Johnson Matthey CEO
Succeeding him will be Liam Condon, who has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and president of the Crop Science Division, headquartered in Monheim, Germany, since January 1, 2016. Condo was first appointed as chairman and CEO of Bayer Crop Science in 2012. He is also responsible for the regions Latin America and Africa for the Bayer Group.
Condon studied international marketing and languages at Dublin City University and at the Technical University of Berlin. As well as English and German, he also speaks Gaelic, French, Japanese and Mandarin (Chinese).