May 20, 2021: International battery separator company ENTEK will be the first firm to manufacture separators in all three primary battery technologies with the acquisition announced on May 10 of the Japanese NSG Group’s battery separator division, a deal that will be finalized in August.
It means ENTEK will add AGM separators to its portfolio, which so far consists of PE separators and lithium battery separators.
Clint Beutelschies, vice president for global sales & marketing, told BESB on May 19 that the firm’s majority stake in the battery separator division of the Japanese firm, which predominantly makes glass for automobiles, will push ENTEK into a leading position in Asia, a region where until now it has had a relatively small footprint.
“Among the three major regions of the world, Asia has by far the highest growth rate, and it’s important for us to take our industry leadership and have our local presence in that region,” he said. “In the Americas we are the largest producer of separators for the lead-acid battery separator industry, far ahead of our nearest competitor. In Europe we are the leaders for auto separators as well.”
ENTEK began to take more of a presence in Asia with the acquisition of a plant in Indonesia in late 2017, but this was just the start. The company made plans to double the plant’s capacity with another production line, and although the pandemic delayed things, the ultimate goal remains the same.
“In Asia we were a relatively small player, with just the investment in our Indonesian plant in 2017,” Beutelschies said.
“Prior to that we didn’t have a manufacturing plant in Asia, so we had some catch-up to do. NSG was our joint venture partner in the Indonesian plant, so we know them quite well. Their battery separator division is a great fit for ENTEK, and to their credit, from the CEO Shigeki Mori, right on down, the recognized we would be a great partner — so now we’re off to the races.”
The new company will own all of the battery separator facilities in Japan and China for both OE separators and AGM separators, the firm said.
“With this strategic acquisition, ENTEK becomes the only separator manufacturer in the world producing all three primary separator technologies (PE, AGM, and lithium separators) for the global energy storage industry,” says ENTEK.
“Considering ENTEK’s established business foundation and mutual trust, NSG Group has decided that the best option for the BSS business as well as for the customers and the stakeholders is for BSS to be integrated with and managed by ENTEK so that it can develop further and enhance its value for customers.”