€180m VARTA deal drives European silicon battery development

€180m VARTA deal drives European silicon battery development

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

German battery maker VARTA has bought back its European consumer brand. The deal means VARTA AG now controls the worldwide VARTA brand rights for portable batteries, microbatteries and energy storage systems.

VARTA Consumer Batteries is based in Ellwangen, Germany, with its main production in Dischingen, making primary and rechargeable batteries, chargers, power banks, special batteries and lights. It was bought back from Energizer Holdings in the US for €180m.  “With this deal, we are seizing the unique opportunity to bring together businesses that belong together,” said Herbert Schein, CEO of VARTA AG. “We are ideally positioned for the future, especially for the massive expansion of our highly profitable lithium-ion production.”

The additional cashflow from the acquisition will be used to expand VARTA’s range of silicon anode lithium ion batteries currently being developed. This project is backed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Germany.

“In the medium term, VARTA Consumer’s attractive cash flow profile will play a crucial role in financing the further expansion of our rapidly growing lithium-ion production,” said Steffen Munz, Chief Financial Officer of VARTA AG.

The two other subsidiaries of VARTA AG are VARTA Microbattery GmbH for wearables and, in particular, hearables, and VARTA Storage GmbH. This provides customized battery storage systems for OEM customers and the design, system integration and assembly of stationary lithium-ion energy storage systems.

The VARTA AG Group’s operating subsidiaries are currently active in more than 75 countries around the world, with four production and assembly facilities in Europe and Asia as well as distribution centres in Asia, Europe and the USA.

Energizer bought VARTA Consumer in January 2018 as part of a $2bn deal for the Global Battery and Portable Lighting Business of US-based Spectrum Brands but had to divest the VARTA business to meet regulatory requirements from the European Union. As a result, Spectrum will be making an additional contribution to Energizer Holdings for a total of $301m. Specutrm’s brands include Remington, Russell Hobbs and Black+Decker. Energizer brands include Eveready and Rayovac, acquired as part of the Smart Brands deal.

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