UK's Saietta group buys e-Traction from China Evergrande's auto unit

FILE PHOTO: A worker at Saietta startup drives an electric go-kart past a test electric vehicle platform built using prototype axial flux electric motors at the company's headquarters in Upper Heyford, Britain, September 15, 2021. Picture taken September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) - British electric motor maker Saietta said on Thursday that it is acquiring electric powertrain company e-Traction from China Evergrande Group’s automotive unit in a deal wroth up to 2 million euros ($2.31 million).

Saietta said that its acquisition of e-Traction, a Dutch company owned by Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group and which also makes high-voltage power electronics for heavy goods vehicles and buses, will provide it with new commercial capabilities and an established production facility as it ramps up its own operations.

“This acquisition will allow Saietta to accelerate its business plan by several years,” Saietta Chief Executive Wicher Kist said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Saietta said China Evergrande has waived around 21.2 million euros in loans it had made to e-Traction.

China Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer, is selling assets to reduce debt and is at the centre of a deepening liquidity squeeze in China’s $5 trillion property sector.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), Evergrande’s Swedish electric vehicle unit, is currently in talks with U.S. and European venture capital firms and industrial partners to find new owners.

And last week, UK-based electric vehicle maker Bedeo said it had acquired Protean Electric, which makes in-wheel motors, from Evergrande’s automotive unit.

($1 = 0.8648 euros)

Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Susan Fenton