April 21, 2022: Bulgaria-based Monbat said on April 6 it had completed its €10.3 million (about $11 million) deal to acquire a majority stake in Tunisian lead battery company Nour — as part of plans to expand its market share across North Africa and the Middle East.
Monbat, which now formally owns 60% of Nour, said in a Bulgarian Stock Exchange announcement that the deal was primarily financed with cash from a 2018 bond issue and other funds of its own.
An agreement for the acquisition was first announced in May 2021.
Now the deal has been finalised, Monbat plans to double production in Tunisia to one million starter batteries annually — boosting exports, which it said in turn should “effectively mitigate” the risks of increased costs from volatile electricity and natural gas prices in the European markets.
Nour, founded in 1956, claims to be the first Tunisian company to specialize in the production or batteries, which it supplies to sectors including cars, public transport vehicles and maritime vessels.
Meanwhile, Monbat said it will maintain its existing manufacturing capacity at its Bulgarian production plants in Montana and Dobrich, while the added production levels in Tunisia will help improve battery delivery times to customers.
In 2017, the group moved into the lithium ion business, with the acquisition of German peers Gaia Akkumulatorenwerke and EAS Germany.
In 2018, Monbat shelved plans to buy another Tunisian battery maker, Tunisien Assad.