Hitachi Chemical grabs 43.9% of BAT-3K
Hitachi Chemical Co Ltd has entered into an agreement to acquire a 43.9% stake in SET-listed battery manufacturer and distributor Thai Storage Battery (BAT-3K) from its major shareholding family in a deal worth 2.41 billion.
Thai Storage said in a filing with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) yesterday that Siam Magi Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Hitachi Chemical, will purchase the company's 8.78 million shares at a price of 275 baht each from the Korphaibool family.
The deal is expected to be completed on July 25 and Siam Magi will launch a tender offer for the remaining shares to comply with the securities' regulations later, the company said.
The Korphaibool family believes that Japanese known-how will be transferred to Thai Storage, allowing the company to produce better lithium batteries down the line, a source said.
Employing Japanese technology in producing batteries would also help sharpen the company's competitive edge against other rivals such as GS Yuasa and FB Battery.
"Our products are lead-acid batteries that are becoming obsolete, while lithium is the latest technology," the source said.
At present, Thai Storage operates a manufacturing plant at Bangpoo Industrial Estate in Samut Prakan, making 4.2 million batteries a year under three brands -- 3K, Tiger and KV.
Some 95% of the company's output supports the replacement battery market, which sells 5 million batteries annually worth 9 billion baht. Thai Storage makes a small volume of batteries to serve European automakers who run facilities in Thailand.
Thai Storage's wholly-affiliated firm, 3K Products Co, accounts for 40-50% of the company's total revenue.
"Hitachi itself is also interested in producing and selling vehicle batteries in Thailand, while Thai Storage is strong enough in terms of local dealership networks," the source said.
BAT-3K shares closed on the SET on Friday at 271 baht, up 22 baht, in trade worth 571 million baht.