An international company with Lee’s Summit ties has announced a move that will affect the majority ownership of a business that has a facility in the area.
The Dow Chemical Company and MBP Investors, LLC, an affiliate of Townsend Ventures, announced in a joint statement Nov. 22 MBP’s acquisition of Dow’s ownership interest in Dow Kokam.
The transaction makes MBP the majority owner of Dow Kokam, which includes the Midland Battery Park in Michigan and the Global R&D Center at Summit Battery Park, 2901 N.E. Hagan Road in Lee’s Summit.
According to a press release, Dow’s decision to exit its interest in Dow Kokam aligns with Dow’s market participation strategy and investment prioritization decisions driven by improving return on capital and total shareholder return.
In addition, Dow is focusing on the materials portion of the battery value chain, not batteries themselves. As a founder of Dow Kokam and owner of MBP, Townsend’s decision to purchase Dow’s interest in Dow Kokam aligns with its global strategy to continue investing in and providing leadership and support to emerging technologies in the energy storage market.
“(The) announcement is another example of Dow’s strategic actions to narrow our market participation,” Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “It demonstrates our commitment to prioritizing and aligning our portfolio towards select, targeted end-use markets with the objective to accelerate value creation and deliver long-term, sustainable growth for Dow and its shareholders.
“We remain committed to delivering competitively advantaged solutions to the battery market through our battery materials business, where our position in the value chain is strategic and margin growth opportunities are clear. This transaction is a solid, strategic fit for both Dow and Townsend.”
Dow Kokam currently provides high-performance advanced energy storage solutions to a wide-range of customers in the fleet transportation, stationary storage, marine, defense and industrial markets. Dow Kokam designs and manufactures large-format nickel manganese cobalt lithium-ion cells and systems that deliver advanced battery solutions with energy, power, lifetime, safety and cost advantages.
Dow Kokam’s Midland Battery Park includes one of the highest capacity, large format lithium ion battery manufacturing plants in the world. Its Lee’s Summit facility, which Lee’s Summit-based Kokam America opened in 2005, was brought under Dow Kokam in 2009 when a joint venture between Dow and Kokam to produce batteries for electric-powered vehicles was finalized.