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Oxfordshire based YASA acquired by Mercedes-Benz

22 July 2021
The Business Magazine article image for: Oxfordshire based YASA acquired by Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz have acquired Parkwalk portfolio company YASA, the electric motor and controller technology company, resulting in a positive return for our EIS investors.

Under the terms of the acquisition, YASA will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, developing ultra high-performance e-motors, while retaining its own brand, team, facilities and continuing to supply existing automotive supercar customers.

YASA’s proprietary axial-flux electric motors offer enhanced performance over radial electric motor technologies. YASA’s e-motors deliver the greatest efficiencies and highest power densities in class for the smallest possible size and weight.

Following the acquisition, YASA and its 250 employees will continue to operate from its headquarters and production facility in Oxford, UK. YASA will provide electric motors for Mercedes-Benz’s AMG.EA electric-only platform, while also acting as an innovation partner pioneering new electric drive technology for the Group

Moray Wright, CEO of Parkwalk, said: “Parkwalk was the largest investor and shareholder in the company. The EIS was vital to the company’s success, investing at stages too early for many funds. The scheme supported the creation of 250 jobs, a high percentage of which are trained to a Masters or PhD. The scheme helped democratise access to some of the best technology developed in the UK, with over 800 underlying investors in Parkwalk EIS funds participating in this journey.

"The EIS funding allowed the company to retain a flat equity capital structure which means the university, the founders and the employees all benefitted fairly and equally with investors on the exit.

"We expect YASA to thrive under its new ownership. Mercedes-Benz will maintain their electric motor R&D hub in Yarnton, Oxford. The team will continue to innovate and develop the next generations of motors and controllers, helping the world move towards a cleaner future and net zero.”

Alastair Kilgour, Parkwalk CIO, said: “This transaction shows how government and private finance can work together to create excellent outcomes. The core YASA technology was developed by research at one of the world’s leading universities, funded by UK taxpayers. The result is a world leading company that creates high value jobs and wealth and prosperity for UK plc while helping with our environmental policies and aspirations. This transaction could be a pivotal moment in the UKs transformation to automotive electrification.”

Chris Harris, CEO, YASA said “Parkwalk were YASA’s largest investor and have been very supportive of the company from their first investment in 2012 and through four subsequent investment rounds.  Parkwalk understand the need for patient capital to build a pioneering technology company like YASA to the point where its technology can be adopted by Mercedes, the world’s premium automotive brand.”

“Working with Mercedes-Benz since 2019, it was always clear that we shared the same commitment to engineering excellence, innovation and reshaping mobility for the electric age. This acquisition is tremendously exciting because it gives YASA technology the global scale and reach of Mercedes-Benz. Together, we have the opportunity to make YASA the premier mark of excellence in electric motor technology, accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and resetting the bar for electric driving experiences.”

Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG and Head of the Top End Vehicle Group, said, “We warmly welcome YASA to Mercedes-Benz. YASA’s impressive axial-flux technology allows future fully electric Mercedes-AMG performance cars to stay a step ahead of the competition. Thanks to electric motors with higher power density and continuous torque delivery we will redefine the future of driving performance.”

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