Two European chemical makers are boosting their presence in cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and other applications. Johnson Matthey will acquire Clariant’s lithium iron phosphate (LFP) business for $75 million. The business had sales of about $17 million last year. Matthey, which is pushing into battery materials, recently acquired the LFP cathode business of battery maker A123 Systems. BASF, meanwhile, is forming a cathode materials joint venture with Japan’s Toda Kogyo. BASF will own 66% of the venture, which will manufacture lithium manganese oxide and other materials in Japan. Like Matthey, BASF is building up a battery materials business. Earlier this year it opened a battery R&D center in Japan.