Battery manufacturing major Exide Industries Ltd has acquired 51 percent stake in Leadage Alloys India Ltd, a lead smelting company near Bangalore, Karnataka, for Rs.340 million.
"Our own lead smelting units will not only give us better self-sufficiency in this critical raw material in the long run. It will also help us have better control over recycling of used batteries that we buy back from the market as part of regulatory framework for storage battery manufacture," T.V. Ramanathan, managing director and CEO of Exide Industries, said here Wednesday.
This is the second lead smelting unit Exide, which manufactures lead acid storage batteries, has picked up controlling stake in after acquiring 100 percent stake of Tandon Metals Ltd in October 2007.
Lead constitutes around 70 percent of the material cost of a battery and its price has remained volatile for the past three years.
For the financial year ended March 31, 2008, the turnover of the company stood at Rs.36.06 billion.
The firm has recently started a nationwide green campaign towards consumer education for the safe disposal of used batteries.
"This investment in our own smelters is not just a backward integration project for Exide. It is part of our commitment to the environment, whereby we will have better control over disposal of used batteries and plastics," said P.K. Kataky, director automotive of Exide Industries.
Exide also has manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka. It carries out business internationally via its subsidiaries and affiliates in Southeast Asia, Australia and Europe.