Berkshire Hathaway’s Duracell a Potential Player for Eveready in India

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Duracell and Energizer Holdings’ Eveready brand are competitors in the US market, but India may soon be another story. At least as to who owns the rights to market Eveready for the country.

In India, the Khaitan family, is looking to sell a majority stake in their exclusive right to manufacture and market Eveready batteries.

It’s a valuable market, as India and China make up the largest markets for non-rechargeable batteries. The markets are not only the largest, but consumer demand is pushing their annual growth to a spectacular 6-7 percent rate.

Based in Calcutta, the Khaitans also have the rights to the Energizer brand, as well.

The Khaitans control Eveready Industries India Limited, and in 2015 were reportedly selling 1.2 billion batteries annually.

The 2015 death at age 59 of Deepak Khaitan, who served as Williamson Magor Group’s non-executive vice-chairman, set in motion a division of assets between his wife Yashodhara Khaitan, son Amritanshu Khaitan and daughter Nitya Bangur.

The Khaitans are also well-known as the largest bulk tea producers in the world, through their ownership of McLeod Russel India.

Duracell’s interest in India goes back to 2015, when it hired DKSH to help with the effort. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company is a Market Expansion Services Group that focuses on Asia.

Berkshire Hathaway acquired Duracell when it cashed out of its minority stake in Procter & Gamble in 2016, and an expansion into India, where Duracell is not a major player, would be a for a company that already has $2 billion in annual sales.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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