South Africa’s Metair bids $350 mln for Slovenian car battery maker

South African bank notes featuring images of former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) are displayed next to the American dollar notes in this photo illustration in Johannesburg August 13 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Metair has offered to buy Slovenian car battery maker Tovarna Akumulatorskih Baterij (TAB) in a $350 million deal that would expand the South African auto parts maker’s energy storage business.

The deal, announced on Friday, it would be the latest deal by the Johannesburg-based company aimed at positioning itself as sizeable global player in the energy industry as more and more customers across the world take up battery-electric vehicles.

“Metair has identified TAB as a scarce strategic asset as it has a strong global presence in the industrial batteries segment,” it said.

Buying TAB would hand it a company with factories in Slovenia and Macedonia, along with a distribution network throughout Europe, with an annual battery output of 15 million units and industrial cell manufacturing of 2 million units.

Shares in Metair rose 2.6 percent to 20.54 rand, valuing it at roughly 4 billion rand ($317 million).

($1 = 0.8566 euros)

($1 = 12.6334 rand)

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Evans)