Metair expands global reach through Strategic stake in german battery manufacturer

  • Acquires 25.1% in successful German OE focussed battery manufacturer
  • Expands presence in Europe and Asia
  • Gains entry into increasingly important Chinese battery market
  • Creates scope for product expansion across the mobility range and across technologies
  • Enhances technology and skills capability
  • Establishes potential alternative globalisation path

04 July 2017 – Metair, a leading international manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, has through its wholly owned subsidiaries, acquired a 25.1% shareholding in German-based battery manufacturer and supplier, Akkumulatorenfabrik Moll GmbH & Co. KG (“Moll”), for a total cash consideration of €7.425 million.

This investment in Moll is in line with Metair’s overarching globalisation strategy. It provides Metair with a presence next to its European customers in Germany and expands Metair’s global reach through access to Europe and Asia. Additionally it creates scope for product expansion across the mobility range and across technologies (e-bikes, two wheeler, three wheeler, four wheeler, truck and electric vehicles).

Theo Loock, Metair’s Managing Director commented: “This acquisition is an important next step in delivery of our strategic objectives for the Energy Storage vertical and builds an incubator for partnership with Moll and Chaowei.

“It also provides Metair with a small but very critical access point into the Chinese market, laying the platform for future technology transfer and cooperation.”

Founded in 1945, Moll is a renowned battery supplier for the automotive industry and for commercial vehicles. It manufactures a range of batteries exclusively at its site in Bad Staffelstein/Germany, and supplies European car manufacturers such as Audi, Daimler, Porsche, Skoda, SEAT, Lamborghini, Liebherr and Volkswagen. Moll has a distribution network across Europe and Asia through three wholesalers and employs around 280 staff.

Chaowei Power Holdings Limited (“Chaowei”) is a Chinese company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is the largest producer of lead-acid e-bike batteries in China with an annual production capacity in excess of 140 million batteries. Chaowei is also in Lithium-ion technology to the extent that it produces about 300 000 Lithium-ion pouch type cells for use in e-bikes. Chaowei acquired a stake in Moll in 2013 and since then the two companies have partnered on the development of EFB start-stop batteries for supply in China.

Importantly, Metair gains access to the Chinese market through Moll’s 5% shareholding in Chaowei’s Greenfields automotive production facilities in China which are in the process of being finalised. This 60 000m2 manufacturing facility is expected to reach four million automotive aftermarket batteries by the end of 2018.

A technical aid agreement on the advancement of Moll EFB and EFBPlus technology forms part of the transaction which will facilitate technology transfer to Metair while access to the world intelligence pool on battery technology is enhanced through the combination of skills from over 30 doctorates throughout the three partnering companies.

ENDS

Enquiries:
Instinctif Partners +27 11 447 3030
Louise Fortuin +27 71 605 4294
Gift Dlamini +27 82 608 6587
Notes to Editors:

About Metair:
Metair Investments Ltd (Metair) is a publicly owned company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The group is headquartered in Johannesburg and manages an international portfolio of companies that manufacture, distribute and retail products for its energy storage and automotive component verticals, exporting to approximately 46 countries.

The group’s operations manufacture, assemble, distribute and retail energy storage products and automotive components in Africa, Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Russia.

Energy storage
The energy storage segment manufactures batteries for automotive, telecoms, utility, mining, retail and materials/products handling sectors. Automotive batteries are mainly supplied to the aftermarket through Metair’s unique aftermarket distribution channels and franchised retail networks, and are supplied to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Aftermarket products are also exported to approximately 46 destinations across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey. Non-automotive products are mainly sold into sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey.

Metair supplies batteries to all major OEMs in South Africa, Europe, Romania, Turkey and Russia through subsidiaries in Romania (Rombat), Turkey (Mutlu Akü) and South Africa (FNB). Key territories include Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Slovakia.

Automotive components
Automotive components include original equipment (OE) components used in the assembly of new vehicles by OEMs as well as spare parts and other products used in the automotive aftermarket. These include brake pads, shock absorbers, lights, radiators and air conditioners. The group also produces generic aftermarket products for use in the increasing number of imported vehicles.

For more information on Metair and the group’s subsidiaries please visit the website at: www.metair.co.za

Additional information about Moll
Following the Acquisition, the equity shareholding of Moll comprises the following:

  • Moll-Mohrstedt Family: 39.66%
  • Leadnew Limited, a subsidiary of Chaowei Power Holdings Limited (“Chaowei”), Hong Kong: 34.46%
  • Metair Investments Limited (held through its wholly owned subsidiaries): 25.1%
  • Moll Beteiligungs GmbH: 0.78%

Moll manufactures the following types of batteries:

  • Moll start-stop (EFB);
  • Moll start-stop plus (AGM);
  • Moll M3plus K2Doppeldeckel;
  • Moll Kamina start;
  • Moll Kamina truck;
  • Moll mobike Classic;
  • Moll mobike AGM;
  • Moll mobike Gel; as well as
  • Batteries for forklifts, leisure and solar applications.
;

Moll currently has capacity to produce 1.4 million batteries per year.

Moll International Business Development (IBD) offers technical support in respect of lead-acid batteries and in developing new customised solutions related to the design and manufacture of lead-acid batteries. This includes advice and technical support with regard to product development, manufacturing and marketing/sales as well as knowledge transfer, the creation of documentation and the expansion/reconstruction of battery factories. The worldwide granting of licenses enables a global exchange of experts.

The company has received several awards from independent product testers in Germany as well as from Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche. Moreover, ISO accreditations for environmental management, energy and quality management were awarded by TÜV Süd.

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