Mixed fortunes at US lead-acid battery maker EnerSys this week as news of its plans to buy out N Holding AB, the parent company of NorthStar, came hours after reports of a fire at its motive power production facility in Kentucky.
On 19 September the firm announced a fire broke out in the battery formation area of its Richmond, Kentucky facility.
An EnerSys spokesman said they were ‘only in the early stage of assessment’. But initial belief was there would be significant property damage and some amount of business interruption.
There were no reported injuries to employees or responders.
The spokesman said: “Any business interruption will be felt mostly in the periods commencing after our second fiscal quarter, which ends on September 29, 2019.
“We are assessing our ability to shift production to our other motive power facilities in North America, as well as transferring existing formation equipment to Richmond. We have contacted our vendor about new formation equipment.
The Company will provide an update as further information becomes available.”
Buy out of lead battery maker
The fire came just ahead of EnerSys announcing it has entered into an agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of N Holding AB, the parent company of NorthStar, from Altor Fund II.
NorthStar manufactures and distributes lead batteries nearest in design and performance to EnerSys’ Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) products at its two production facilities in Springfield, Missouri.
David Shaffer, president and chief executive officer of EnerSys, said: “The manufacturing processes and quality standards of NorthStar are very similar to EnerSys® TPPL production.
“It will require a modest capital investment to convert the NorthStar factories to build our Odyssey®, NexSys®, and SBS® battery products over a six month period.
“In addition, the newer of the two NorthStar factories was not fully built out and has floor space immediately available for our new TPPL high-speed production line.”
The line adds $175 million of production capacity, produces batteries three times faster than EnerSys’ existing production lines and requires fewer operators.
The transaction is expected to close 15 days from 19 September, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.