Swiss battery maker Leclanché announces debt restructuring

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Swiss battery manufacturer and energy storage company Leclanché has negotiated a debt restructuring with its shareholders and, in a press release issued this morning, warned further measures may be required to shore up its balance sheet.

The 109-year company announced its major shareholder FEFAM – a coalition of four investment funds – has purchased an unspecified amount of debt that was due on June 30 and postponed its maturity date for two years, until March 31, 2020.

FEFAM, which has reportedly pumped around CHF75 million ($75.4 million) into Leclanché, has also agreed to exchange CHF24 million owed to it by the manufacturer for equity with both measures taken to “help strengthen the balance sheet of the company”, according to today’s official statement.

The press release adds: “It is contemplated that after the conversion further steps shall be taken to improve the balance sheet situation of the company.”

The Swiss business, based in Yverdon-les-Bains, is set to move into the Indian energy storage market after last week announcing a joint venture with Exide Industries, India’s largest battery maker, to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in the Asian nation, which is tipped to become a major player in the global solar market after the latest ambitious PV plans announced by Narendra Modi’s government.

Leclanché has been approached for comment about the debt restructuring.