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Battery maker TAB gives up search for strategic partner

Mežica, 11 July (STA) - Battery maker TAB has terminated the search for a strategic partner. The Mežica-based company "decided to continue its current independent path of development," NLB bank, advisor to the consortium of sellers, said on Thursday.

The news comes just over a year after TAB announced a tie-up with South African battery maker Metair. The prospective partner pulled out in August 2018 quoting unfavourable exchange rate conditions, but the company continued to look for strategic partners.

At the time, the company sought to sell itself because of uncertainty on the global battery market, which is increasingly shifting towards lithium-ion batteries, whereas TAB specialises in lead-acid batteries, an older though still widely used technology.

NLB now said TAB planned to "continue the profitable production of lead batteries and look for opportunities in new technologies of energy storage appearing on the market".

TAB is among top ten battery producers in the world and ranks sixth among manufacturers of industrial-grade batteries.

The company has not disclosed its financials for 2018 yet, but in the first nine months of the year it posted sales revenue of EUR 201 million and almost EUR 20 million in net profit.

TAB is in majority ownership of current and former executives, with a large chunk, around 40%, held by a company that mostly comprises current and former employees.

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