South Africa-based automotive and energy storage group Metair Investments has called off a bid to acquire European lead battery firm Tovarna Akumulatorskih Baterij (TAB).
Johannesburg-listed Metair revealed last June it was in exclusive talks that could see it help push an expansion of the Slovenia-based TAB’s international automotive batteries and energy storage business.
But in interim half-year results reported on 16 August, Metair confirmed it had decided to “terminate the due diligence process and negotiations” to acquire TAB.
Metair said the decision followed “the recent and ongoing volatility in emerging market currencies, especially in Turkey”. Instead, Metair said its board “has prioritised the continued focus on maintaining good performance” of the lead battery firm it owns in Turkey— Mutlu Akü.
Metair MD Theo Loock said: “Management is focused intently on ensuring that Mutlu’s operational performance is sustained during the second half and that measures are taken to mitigate the impact of currency volatility.”
Mutlu’s Turkish battery business increased its automotive battery exports by 28% in the six months to 30 June 2018, according to the interim results. Local industrial battery sales increased by 83%, “which together with a specific focus on cost control saw the business accomplish an exceptional 25.3% improvement”, Metair said.
Revenue for the Metair group was up 10% to 4.5 billion rand (ZAR) (US$306m) for the period, compared to the year-ago period, and operating increased by 16% to ZAR413m.
Rombat— Metair’s battery business in Romania— “also increased its exports, maintaining its performance”, the company said.