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01. November 2007

Exide acquires lead smelter Tandon Metals

Kolkata -  Exide Industries Ltd, the industrial and automotive battery major, has finalised 100% acquisition of lead smelter Tandon Metals Pvt Ltd , the company said on Wednesday.

Exide has paid Rs 22 crore for the unlisted company located near Pune.

The acquisition would help Exide get recycled raw materials and bring down its dependence on high-cost imported lead, a company statement quoted its managing director TV Ramanathan as saying.

On the London Metal Exchange, lead for October delivery is quoting at $3685 per tonne. The price of the metal, which accounts for nearly 70% of the cost of a battery, has gone up by 125% since the beginning of the year.

Exide has had to increase the prices of its lead-acid batteries by an average of 10% during this year.

Dr SK Mittal, director for research & development, said the acquisition would open up avenues for getting different types of lead alloys from a source with a proven record. Exide would also benefit from "having a ready source to research and evaluate new alloy composition," the statement said.

Earlier this month, the Exide board had approved an investment of up to Rs 25 crore in a smelter.

"The challenge now is to scale up production at the unit in the shortest possible time to get economies of scale for import substitution," Ramanathan said.

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