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Reclaiming materials from used batteries — Exide plans jt venture with Malaysian co

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, July 5

EXIDE Industries Ltd has proposed to form a joint venture with a Malaysian company — Metal Reclamation (Industries) — for setting up a 20,000 tpa smelter project in India to reclaim materials from used batteries.

Mr S.B. Ganguly, Chairman of Exide, told newspersons here today after the company's 55th AGM that Exide would be a minority partner with 26 per cent stake in the joint venture. The Malaysian company would hold 74 per cent stake in the company's paid up capital of Rs 75 crore.

The project would be ready by the end of this calendar year, Mr Ganguly said. The initial capacity of the scrap smelting would be 10,000 tpa. Exide has already set up a scrap collection centre. The joint venture company will operate in tandem with the centre, he added.

Exide has planned to merge Chloride International Ltd with its parent Exide Products Ltd (EPL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Exide Industries. Through the merger, EPL will be able to use the Chloride brand equity and goodwill, the Exide Chairman pointed out.

EPL is a marketing outfit for Exide products. Chloride International (formerly Macneill International) has the marketing rights for the Chloride brand. It came to Exide from the Standard Furukawa stable following the merger in 1998.

Responding queries, Mr Ganguly said the proposed joint venture project in Bangladesh had not taken off and chances of it taking a shape in the near future was bleak.

Exide would launch a few products in the current financial year both in automotive and industrial battery segments. "All these items will be Exide's own products," he observed.

Mr Ganguly said that with automotive and infrastructure sectors showing recovery, a sales growth of around 10 per cent and a PAT growth of around 75 per cent could be expected in the current year, if everything went all right.

Today the Exide board took on record the unaudited results of the first quarter of 2002-03. The gross sales in the first quarter till June 30, 2002, increased to Rs 249.43 crore from 219.09 in the corresponding period in 2001-2002. The PAT went up to Rs 8.16 crore from Rs 3.64 crore.

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