FRANKFURT, Sept 2 German battery maker Varta
Microbattery is preparing a stock market listing to generate
cash for expansion, several people close to the matter told
Its owner, Swiss investor Montana Tech Components
, is working with investment banks on a potential
initial public offering (IPO) that could value Varta at between
400 million euros and 600 million euros ($448 million to $671
million), one of the sources said.
The source said that shares worth between 150 million euros
and 200 million euros could be offered.
"We continuously examine financing options for all of our
investments," a Montana Tech spokeswoman said.
Representatives of Varta were not available for immediate
Varta specialises in batteries for hearing aids, headphones
and wearable consumer electronics, as well as energy storage
systems for homeowners and small businesses. Such systems can be
used to store electricity from roof-mounted solar panels.
The company achieved 200 million euros in annual sales last
year, with core profit (EBITDA) of more than 30 million euros.
Varta expects rapid growth in the coming years, particularly
in the energy storage sector as German subsidies for the sale of
renewable energy are phased out.
It plans to use proceeds of a potential IPO, which could
take place this year or in early 2017, for investments and
acquisitions, another of the sources said.
Varta Microbattery, the origins of which can be traced back
to the 19th century, formerly belonged to German industrial
group Varta, which was taken over by Deutsche Bank in
2000 and then broken up into three smaller units.
The car battery operations were taken over by Johnson
Controls and the household batteries business was
merged with U.S. group Rayovac, now called Spectrum Brands
, both in 2002. The microbattery business was snapped up
by Montana Tech in 2007.
($1 = 0.8936 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Alexander
Hübner; Editing by David Goodman)