Australian renewable firm Fortescue Future Industries is to acquire UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering in a new deal.
After Fortescue hired Williams Advanced Engineering to create a battery that could power the trucks which carry iron ores, its parent company ‘Fortescue Metals Group’ has acquired the F1 outfit’s engineering division in a new deal that was completed last week.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams Advanced Engineering posted a loss in the 2022 calendar year with the business still in recovery mode. The year 2019 saw EMK Capital acquire a majority stake of the division when the F1 team was on sale too.
The new deal aims to reach a net zero carbon goal by 2030 for both Fortescue and Williams, which the former is trying to achieve being in the heavy industrial sector where it accounts for more than 20 percent of global carbon emissions.
Fortescue aims to utilise the capabilities of Williams Advanced Engineering, who also provide batteries to Formula E series. “This is the race of our lifetimes – the race to save the planet from cooking,” said Fortescue’s founder and chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO. “The speed at which we move matters.
“Together FFI and WAE will work to decarbonise Fortescue – with the aim of achieving that faster and more effectively than anyone else in the world. This is an historic moment in the future of our company as we welcome the WAE family into the Fortescue family to work together to de carbonise heavy industry and hard to abate sectors for the good of our planet, and the benefit of our shareholders
“This announcement is the key to unlocking the formula for removing fossil fuel powered machinery and replacing it with zero carbon emission technology, powered by FFI green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia. For decades, Sir Frank Williams’ F1 racing business was at the forefront of innovation in engineering and I thank him for his pioneering vision in founding WAE over a decade ago. I was sorry to hear of his passing last year and I pay tribute to him. I have huge respect for him, his family and the Williams’ business.”
Former Williams deputy team boss Claire – who has gone behind the scenes since selling the F1 outfit to Dorilton Capital – stated: “Since the team sold a majority shareholding in WAE to EMK Capital a couple of years ago, EMK and the Management Team have done a fantastic job in taking the business forward.
“We are delighted that Fortescue are now taking over that mantle and see the value in the company and its people in tackling some of the biggest issues facing our world today. I am sure that they will continue to drive considerable success through the business and achieve further results in decarbonising heavy industry and tackling the issue of global warming.”
Adding more, Craig Wilson, Chief Executive Officer WAE noted: “High performance battery and electrification systems are at the core of what we do at WAE, and this acquisition and investment will enable the company’s further growth to support the delivery of zero emission products and services across existing sectors – such as automotive, motorsport and off-highway – and new sectors too.
“This will benefit all of our stakeholders along with current and future customers who are very important to us. My thanks also to EMK Capital for their support during the past two years that has enabled us to accelerate the successful progress of WAE and development of technologies to help tackle climate change.
“We are delighted to play a key role in Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy, contributing to the delivery of their emissions reduction targets through high performance battery systems, green hydrogen and related technologies. We will also be focusing on addressing the sector-wide challenges in the off-highway sector. Both companies have a shared culture of innovation, setting and achieving challenging objectives and a genuine commitment to creating a sustainable future.”
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