The receivers and managers of Brisbane-based electric vehicle (EV) charger manufacturer Tritium have said the insolvent firm has been “stabilised” as it seeks a buyer.

    McGrathNicol says the Tritium business has been “successfully stabilised and is continuing operations on a business-as-usual basis”.

    It says the company is engaging with its customers on the ongoing supply of chargers, parts, and after-sale services.

    We’ve reached out for more details on what that means when it comes to spare parts in particular, as a chunk of Australia’s public charge infrastructure was supplied by Tritium.

    McGrathNicol says it’s looking for a buyer for Tritium, and has already been contacted by a number of parties in the EV charging and electronic component manufacturing sectors.

    It says it has provided interested parties with information on the firm so they can further evaluate it before a potential purchase.

    “The interest we have received is encouraging but not altogether surprising,” said McGrathNicol partner and receiver Kathy Sozou.

    “Leveraging its platform of innovative and reliable EV-charging product suite, Tritium DCFC has established a prominent position in the out-of-home, EV fast-charging sector in the United States, Europe and in Asia.

    “We are very confident the sale process will identify a new owner that can build on this success to date, and capture the opportunity to bring new Tritium products to market and grow the business, under a different capital structure.”

    A sales process for the company’s business and assets was already underway prior to the firm’s appointment.

    The EV charger manufacturer declared itself insolvent on April 18, 2024 and called for an administrator to be appointed.

    Tritium was founded in 2001 in Brisbane as an engineering consulting firm, and in 2013 introduced its first DC fast charger.

    By 2020 it had become a leading provider of DC chargers with a claimed 15 per cent global market share, and the backing of coal barons Trevor St Baker and Brian Flannery.

    The next year saw a successful Nasdaq stock listing, which had Tritium valued at $2 billion.

    It inked a deal in January 2023 to supply BP with fast-chargers, and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called the firm a local example of innovation and success that October.

    But in November 2023 it announced it would shutter its Brisbane facility to consolidate manufacturing operations at its Lebanon, Tennessee plant in the US.

    It said the move aligned with its plans to be profitable in 2024, but by this point, its share price was on a downward slide.

    One investor, Brian Flannery, told The Australian Financial Review at the time that the company had left the factory closure too late.

    “The current directors have let it go too far and watched the margins disappear,” Mr Flannery told the AFR.

    “They should have bitten the bullet and moved to the United States earlier and kept an R&D [research and development] centre in Brisbane.

    “I think they need to find a big backer to take it private. I think taking it private is the only option. I am hoping someone takes them over.”

    He reportedly sold his five per cent stake in the firm in February 2024.

    Tritium received a deficiency notice from Nasdaq in October 2023 saying the bid price of its ordinary shares had closed below US$1 per share for the previous 30 consecutive days.

    In March 2024, it received a delisting determination from Nasdaq as its ordinary shares had a closing bid price of US$0.10 or less for 10 consecutive trading days.

    Tritium subsequently did a reverse stock split, with every 200 hundred shares consolidated into one. It then received a notice from Nasdaq that it didn’t meet the required number of publicly held shares to continue being listed.

    Attempts to secure external capital from state and federal governments appear to have been unsuccessful.

    Ex-Tritium employees told CarExpert earlier this year, under the condition of anonymity, the company suffered from poor management, while its products were unreliable.

    “There were a lot of design flaws [in the chargers] that were mostly ignored. People at the top refused to make the necessary changes,” one former employee told CarExpert.

    “I loved the company and the career progression opportunities that were at hand, but it wasn’t too long until I started to notice the company was losing its spark due to bad management.

    “No one wanted to take accountability when things went wrong but rather played the blame game. Issues were never resolved because of that.”

    MORE: Electric car chargers ‘flawed’ and faulty – ex-Tritium employees
    MORE: Australian EV charging manufacturer Tritium goes into administration

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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