Zug/Switzerland – 12 February 2021 – iQ International AG (ISIN CH0451424300 / WKN A2PAA5 / Symbol IQL), a multinational sustainable technology company publicly traded at the General Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with its global head office in Zug, Switzerland and North American headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, has signed an agreement to acquire the UK based advanced battery recycling technology company Ever Resource Ltd. and signed employment agreements with its two founders.
iQ International has signed an agreement for the acquisition of Ever Resource, Ltd., a UK research-led company with circular economy innovations including battery recycling technologies for multiple types of batteries.
Earlier this year, iQ International signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Cambridge for the recycling technology jointly developed by the University of Cambridge and the team at Ever Resource. After working closely with the Ever Resource founders for over a year, iQ has decided to acquire Ever Resource and hire its founders (Athan Fox and Miles Freeman) to launch companywide state-of-the-art recycling opportunities, particularly for batteries.
Among the many opportunities with this acquisition, Ever Resource, working with Cambridge University, has developed technologies to upcycle spent battery paste by converting it into a superior, nanostructured, more energy-dense leady oxide. The advantage of this is more energy per kilogram of battery, longer cycle life, greater depth of discharge, and significantly reduced environmental impact.
In October 2020, Ever Resource won competitive funding (£237,000 GBP) jointly with the University of Cambridge, from Innovate, the UK governmental program which includes a Sustainable Innovation Fund, to further develop this technology. To date, the Ever Resource founders have successfully raised funds through both debt and grant funding (over £4 million GBP towards the development of technologies) which includes funding from the UK government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a research project relating to polymer synthesis recycling involving a company in South Korea and the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis within the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge.
Ever Resource’s portfolio of technologies includes processes which turn waste into feedstock (including hydrogen) and produce value-added products from end-of-life materials, including, among others, end of life tires and batteries and waste plastic. This includes technology which enables mixed end-of-life plastics to be converted into high-quality fuel via a low-temperature, proprietary catalytic degradation process.
Further, Ever Resource is also actively researching and developing better ways to recycle lithium-ion batteries. This includes a collaboration with the University of Birmingham to develop proprietary methods for the processing of end-of-life electric vehicle battery packs. Ever Resource and the University of Birmingham plan to scale up a process enabling the physical and mechanical separation of anodic and cathodic materials from shredded lithium-ion batteries. This approach would be a breakthrough for the end-of-life management of lithium-ion batteries and has led to a support relationship between Formula-E and Ever Resource in which Formula-E is providing its lithium-ion batteries for the development of this recycling technology.
Finally, Ever Resource will participate with Lyon University (based in France) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT (based in the USA) in a major initiative to develop and scale up a carbon dioxide
iQ International management is convinced that these newly acquired circular economy and recycling, and in some cases upcycling, technologies, together with the Company’s already superior 360 mixing battery and Advanced Battery Factory (ABF) technologies, will result in iQ International AG becoming one of the leading Battery Technologies Companies in the world within five years. iQ International will seamlessly merge its battery manufacturing innovations (from iQ Power) and resource, recovery, and recycling technologies (from iQ Environmental) to convert end-of-life batteries and other commodity items into component parts and energy for battery manufacturing. Combined iQ International will become one of the world’s most innovative, fully closed-loop, circular economy, clean technologies company, a process we refer to as `iQr3´ (Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose) which is being trademarked.
Together with the acquisition, the Company also signed employment agreements with Dr. Athan Fox and Mr. Miles Freeman (please see their bios below). Dr. Athan Fox will join the Company as Director of Innovation and Mr. Miles Freeman will join the Company as Director of Recycling Operations.
These projects will be fully launched upon consummation of iQ’s planned $130 million institutional financing. The term sheet for this financing was first signed on September 14, 2020 (see the Ad-Hoc announcement). Further negotiations have taken place and attorneys are now working on final agreements compliant with Swiss law. The parties expect to close this financing by the end of February or early March 2021.
“The acquisition of Ever Resource is in line with our strategy to leverage the lead-acid battery supply chain where it has not previously been levered. Adding certain technologies from Ever Resource to iQ International´s existing intellectual property portfolio will allow us to re-think where lead-acid battery manufacturing and recycling begin and end, which we believe will result in a more efficient utilization of existing infrastructure”, said Kevin T. Loman, CEO of iQ International AG, while adding: “The two gentlemen, Athan and Miles, have brilliantly put together the technologies at Ever Resource and they are a perfect complement to the team of experts that have recently entered the executive team at iQ as previously announced”.
iQ International AG
iQ International AG is a multinational sustainable technologies company listed at the General Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The Company licenses parts of its IP portfolio, and manufactures/distributes highly efficient lead-acid batteries that meet the increased need for cycle life in today’s global automotive and storage markets. Its Advanced Battery Factory (ABF) technologies together with the award-winning innovative 360° Mixing battery technology is used to create superior, long-lasting, OEM-approved Starting-Lighting-Ignition (SLI) batteries in a cheaper, faster, and cleaner fashion versus current industry leaders. Batteries with iQ International AG technologies are designed to generate better performance in today’s highly electrified vehicles, particularly vehicles with the Start-Stop function. The Company’s technologies have the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry, helping car makers meet the emissions reduction mandates, as well as manufacture develop and recycle a battery at a significantly emissions reduced level than the current industry leaders. – For more information, visit www.iqint.com
ATHAN FOX – Director of Innovation
Dr Athan Fox is an entrepreneur and technology transfer professional with a background in chemistry, materials science and intellectual property. Throughout his career, Athan has been involved in cutting-edge research and innovation across a broad range of disciplines. He has played a key role in developing, scaling up and commercializing technology to address the world’s challenges in sustainability, recycling, and the circular economy – including an innovative solution for the upcycling of lead-acid battery paste.
In 2007, Athan graduated with a PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge – having worked on organic chemistry and the synthesis of small molecules and polymers for organic optoelectronic devices. Following a 12-month excursion at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, Athan returned to the United Kingdom where he trained as a patent attorney, and later as a technology transfer professional at Cambridge Enterprise Ltd – the technology and commercialization arm of the University of Cambridge.
Driven by a passion for science and entrepreneurial spirit, Athan joined in 2016 a start-up company to scale up and commercialize innovative technology licensed exclusively from the University of Cambridge. Between 2016 and 2020, he was instrumental in securing a combined figure of more than £3 million GBP from various funding Bodies to de-risk and to improve its value proposition. This includes funding from Innovate UK and European frameworks – including a Horizon 2020 SME grant, which typically possesses a success rate of between 1 and 2%. In Jan 2019, Athan’s team received the Rushlight Resource Recycling and Resource Innovation Awards in recognition of their development towards sustainable, closed-loop recycling for lead-acid batteries.
Athan has been cherry-picked to participate in government-funded visits to represent Great Britain’s technology sector in Israel, South Korea, and Japan. He was likewise selected to participate in equivalent missions as a delegate of the European Commission – representing European technology and innovation in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
As Technology Director of the start-up, he joined in 2016, Athan established and led a broad innovation program to develop value propositions which benefit the environment and the economy. His aim is to revolutionize recycling, and to create a web of industries where one stream’s waste is another stream’s infeed – bridging linear and wasteful processes to create a circular, pollution-free, zero-waste future.
MILES FREEMAN – Director of Recycling
Throughout his career, Miles has amassed a wide variety of operational, technical and project management experience at an executive level. He is considered by his peers to be a highly effective strategist in business and operational strategy creating an inclusive team culture to achieve the core objectives for Business. His strong Technical and financial background supported by his commercial acumen, marketing ability and highly personable character has made Miles a key player for organizations throughout his career.
Miles first started in Industry managing NAMAS accredited laboratories in the UK carrying out R&D and analytical functions, before moving into operations, where he was appointed General Manager for the largest chemical treatment facility in the UK.
Before starting his own business, Miles spent more than 15 years as an Operations Director for Ecobat Technologies, a QHSE Director for a group of Companies and Regional Operations Manager for hazardous waste/recycling processes for Veolia in the UK.
As an entrepreneur Miles founded a start-up recycling business in the UK in 2015, and in his role as CEO he led the business strategy in which the company secured over £4m in funding and grew revenue to £6m within 3 years returning profits of 12% per year in a very competitive market.
He also oversaw the successful development of a new battery recycling technology for which he secured an exclusive global license agreement from Cambridge Enterprise and led a team of R&D/Engineers both in-house and at Cambridge University in the Strategic development of this technology.
Miles has a passion for the environment and circular economy and has a vision to create the World’s largest recycling brand by revolutionizing recycling through a strategic network of partners and exploiting the synergies of cutting edge production processes; new innovative technologies and materials science where a new approach can see a recycling / circular economy suitable for the 21st century and our global carbon reduction goals by making use of the abundant resources that we have already manufactured but are otherwise discarded or wasted.