Eveready to acquire controlling stake in French firm

Fri May 15, 2009 2:00pm IST

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Battery major Eveready is looking to acquire a minimum of an 80% stake in Uniross for $13.65 million.

Battery major Eveready Industries us getting ready for an acquisition. After reporting a profit for fiscal year 2009, the company has set its eye on French company Uniross SA. For this, the company has set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to acquire minimum of an 80% stake in Uniross for $13.65 million.

Uniross is into the business of manufacturing and distribution of rechargeable batteries and allied products. Eveready has signed a term sheet with Paris-based CG Holding for investment through SPV. The company plans to invest a total of $13.65 million or Euro 10 million in the deal through mix of debt and equity, it said in a filing to BSE. The deal closing is subject to certain conditions and approvals.

Indian equity markets have rallied by more than 20% since April, even though uncertainty over election results persists. Several companies have also filed for IPO. But are Indian companies now ready for overseas acquisitions?

Eveready's stock was up by nearly 5% closing at Rs 25.40 on a day when markets fell by 1.22%. The company has a market cap of Rs 185 crore.

Last month Eveready reported an after-tax profit of Rs 19.40 crore fiscal 2009 against a loss of Rs 19.32 crore in 2007-08. While battery contributes around 70% of the company’s turnover, it's also into lighting, packet tea and flashlight businesses. The company is promoted by Khaitan group.

Eveready recently launched recently launched 'Ultima' alkaline battery and 'HomeLight' LED cells, and is expecting revenues to double to rs 1600 crore in FY10. The company is now focusing more on alkaline batteries, CFLs, LEDs as it believes they have the highest growth potential.

In 2005, Eveready had acquired BPL Soft Energy System, the battery business of BPL, for Rs 67 crore. That acquisition had helped it consolidate its position in the Indian market. The company has a 56% market share in conventional battery market in India.

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