November 8, 2023: Ecobat has sold its Zimco Group businesses in South Africa including lead manufacturing, recycling and chemicals firms to AutoX.
Under the terms of the deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, AutoX takes over several lead and lead-based product industrial and base minerals firms including recycler Fry’s Metals, lead products manufacturer Castle Lead Works and lead chemicals firm Associated Additives.
The move follows the sale, announced last year, of Ecobat Resources Stolberg to commodities firm Trafigura. The sale included the Stolberg multi-metals processing plant in Germany.
Companies in the Zimco group are also major producers and suppliers of zinc and aluminium metal and alloys.
Ecobat CEO Marcus Randolph said the Zimco sale would allow the group to focus on its “core business” of battery recycling in North America and Europe.
AutoX produces a range of lead batteries including the Willard brand for all vehicle types and supplies LFP batteries for various applications.
Glenn Geldenhuis, AutoX’s CEO, said the acquisition of Fry’s would give his company greater control over its supply chain in a volatile market.
Lead recycling by Fry’s dates back to 1947 and the company is a long-standing supplier and lead recycling partner to AutoX.
Fry’s produces high quality lead alloys and has close ties to Zimco group members Castle Lead Works and Associated Additives.
Fry’s says it also supported the development of national lead regulations in South Africa, promoting the safe, environmentally responsible and energy efficient treatment of lead and other hazardous substances.