Tata Group considering spinoff of battery biz Agratas

TATA Group is considering a potential spinoff of its battery business, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Indian conglomerate expands its foray in the country’s renewable-energy (RE) and electric-vehicle (EV) sectors.

Tata is in the early stage of discussions about eventually breaking out Agratas Energy Storage Solutions Pvt Ltd as an independent unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Such a structure would allow the battery business to raise funds and go public in Mumbai at a later stage, the people said.

A listing may value Agratas at US$5 billion to US$10 billion (RM47.3 billion) depending on its growth and market sentiment, they said. A representative for Tata declined to comment.

Tata Motors Ltd shares climbed as much as 3.1% in Mumbai trading last Friday, valuing the company at about US$41.7 billion.

Agratas designs and makes batteries for the automobile and energy sectors, with factories in India and the UK, according to its website. Tata Motors and its unit Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc (JLR) are its anchor customers.

Tata Motors last month regained its position as India’s most valuable carmaker due to its strong position in SUVs and EVs. The company’s most recent quarterly earnings beat estimates after JLR had its best profit in seven years.

Agratas is in talks with a group of banks to raise as much as US$500 million via a green loan to help develop its factories, Bloomberg News reported in January.

Tata Motors is also exploring similar spinoff plans for its EV business as some of the existing investors may want to exit, one of the people said. The EV operation may go public as a separate company at a later stage, the person said.

Considerations are preliminary and Tata may decide against proceeding with the spinoffs, the people said. — Bloomberg


  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition