Moro lost 333 million last year – and got another 560 million from owners – E24

Moro lost 333 million last year – and got another 560 million from owners – E24

Although the owners of battery manufacturer Morrow are now investing another NOK 560 million, the company is completely dependent on obtaining a $1 billion government loan in the fall.

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After Freer shelved his planned battery plant in Mo i Rana, the Moro plant in Arendal is the only major battery project remaining in Norway.

If nothing comes of their plans, there will be little left of former Industry Minister Jean-Christian Vestre's investment in batteries.

Publicly owned energy group Å Energi is now increasing its efforts in the company. On the other hand, the former major private shareholder, Björn Rönn Gelsten, appears to have completely folded his cards.

Å Energi is leading the way among owners with a brand new capital injection for the southern company. The largest owners will inject another NOK 560 million tomorrow.

On the other hand, Gilstein is conspicuous by his absence from this critical tour as well.

When the latest capital injection is completed, shareholders will have invested a total of NOK 3.2 billion tomorrow. Å Energi, owned by Statkraft and municipalities in southern Norway, represents approx. Half of this.

It lost 333 million last year

-We are grateful for the continued support of our contributors. We are financing the company as we scale up Giga production and develop new technology.

This is what CEO Lars Christian Bacher of Moro says in a press release.

Moreau is trying to start large-scale battery production in Arendal. In addition to the owners' billions, the state also provided a few hundred million kroner in loans, grants and shares.

-This is a capital intensive process. Bacher says Moro is on track to become a profitable Norwegian battery producer and an experienced company.

However, there is still a long way to go before achieving any profitability. Last year, Morrow ended up with a loss of NOK 333 million.

Without Moro in Arendal, there will be little left of the battery investment for former Industry Minister Jan Christian Vester (TV), who here welcomes Moro CEO Lars Bacher during a press conference on the Norwegian battery commissioning in March 2023.

Depends on a billion government loan

Although the owners, led by Å Energi, are now investing a new sum of NOK 560 million, this is not enough to achieve large-scale battery production either.

In Morrow's annual report, both the board and the auditor stressed that there was “a great deal of uncertainty” about continuing operations. Much still depends on Moro's success in obtaining a NOK 1.5 billion government loan in the fall.

-We are very happy that the authorities have put the green financing solution into practice. This must be approved in the revised national budget, and we look forward to its implementation. “We follow our plans across the board, even when it comes to working with finance,” Bacher says.

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In the revised national budget, the government proposes that the Norwegian Innovation Foundation evaluate applications for green loans.

A subsidiary of Morrow received NOK 120 million in a different type of loan from Innovation Norway in the first quarter.

The company covered stock losses

CEO Bacher and 51 other employees participated in and purchased shares in Moro's capital raising in 2022. To finance these purchases, they borrowed a total of NOK 10 million from the company. But in the latest rounds of capital raising, in 2023 and this year, the owners have reduced the price per share by more than 95 percent.

Then the employees suddenly faced huge losses on their shares financed by the loans. However, employees were spared these losses because Morrow bought back stock from employees last year.

However, this buyback results in a tax advantage. For CEO Bacher, his loss coverage amounts to a compensation payout of up to NOK 5.5 million in 2023. This was therefore more than his fixed salary, which was NOK 4.4 million last year.

In contrast, there was no bonus at Patcher last year.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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