Johnson Controls to Acquire Varta Automotive Battery Business – Varta AG, Varta Batterie AG

Johnson Controls to Acquire Varta Automotive Battery Business – Varta AG, Varta Batterie AG – Brief Article

Johnson Controls, Inc., and Varta AG said they signed an agreement whereby Johnson Controls expects to acquire Varta’s Automotive Battery Division, a major European automotive battery manufacturer. Johnson Controls will pay Euro 312.5 million ($ 305.8 million) for Varta’s automotive battery business.

The completion of the acquisition is contingent upon receiving customary regulatory approvals. The transaction is targeted to close near the end of the calendar year.

Johnson Controls said that when the acquisition is complete, it expects to have annualized battery sales of approximately $1.8 billion with a market leadership position in Europe as well as in the Americas.

Varta’s Automotive Battery Division, headquartered in Hannover, Germany, reported fiscal 2001 sales of Euro 590 million ($577 million) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of Euro 29 million ($29 million), the company said. It operates six battery assembly plants in Europe located in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Spain.

Varta said it manufactures automotive batteries for BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, PSA, Volkswagen and other automakers in Europe. The company said it is also a major supplier to the European independent aftermarket, including customers such as Robert Bosch GmbH, Carrefour, and wholesalers.

Varta’s research and development efforts include the development of batteries for emerging higher energy, higher power and longer life automotive applications such as dual battery systems, 42-volt electrical systems and battery solutions for hybrid vehicles, the company said.

The company has programs underway with a number of automakers that focus on lead-acid AGM as well as nickel metal hydride and lithium-ion battery systems. “Varta’s scale and commitment to technology improvement will enable us to effectively serve the increasing needs of vehicle manufacturers in Europe,” said Keith Wandell, president of the Johnson Controls battery business, “and will position us to serve the global requirements of vehicle manufacturers. In the aftermarket, the well-known Varta brand will help us support our growing aftermarket customers.”

COPYRIGHT 2002 International Trade Services

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group