Home » Saint-Gobain Plans to Debut in EV Battery Management

Saint-Gobain Plans to Debut in EV Battery Management

The company had earmarked ₹8,000 crore to be spent on capital expenditure and acquisitions between 2021 and 2025.

by Aishwarya Saxena

Saint-Gobain India Pvt. Ltd (SG) has expressed their interest in two or three bolt-on acquisitions to expand their auto and EV (electric vehicles) segment in India.

Saint-GobainB.Santhanam, CEO-APAC and India region, and chairman-Saint-Gobain India said “We are at this point in time looking at two or three bolt-on acquisitions. Most would be building materials then we are looking at anything connected with EV. Because we have a fairly large portfolio of solutions for EV.”

The company had earmarked ₹8,000 crore to be spent on capital expenditure and acquisitions between 2021 and 2025.

About 10% of the allocation was for acquisitions and company has already spent it. “We have already invested the allotted ₹600 crore- ₹800 crore for mergers & acquisitions (M&A), but we aren’t constrained by those targets, we are only constrained by opportunities and demand growth…We also have global ambitions in this. So, it could be that some of that could come if there is a global acquisition,” he said.

The glassmaker provides various glass solutions for the automotive industry, with EVs being a large part of it.

And the company will primarily concentrate to strengthen its electric mobility solutions business in the EV segment, where it provides special materials for insulating battery pack like thermal insulation barriers, battery management, gaskets, and provide seals to make sure that they are waterproof.

“We have several solutions in this, whatever the battery type that is going to happen, we have an opportunity in all of that…but we will only be in battery management. We have materials that go into making batteries, but the final battery manufacturing, we will leave it to battery experts,” he added.

Electric vehicle sales in the country hit a record high during fiscal 2023 registering a year-on-year increase of 155% at about 1.2 million. While a whopping 95% of the sales came from two- and three-wheelers, the segment is estimated to register similar growth in the current fiscal.

Saint-Gobain India earlier acquired Uttar Pradesh-based Twiga Fiberglass Ltd, a company that manufactures glass wool, through SG’s technology for ₹400 crore, and last year Rockwool India Pvt. Ltd, a manufacturer of stone wool in India with a wide range of insulation products for thermal, acoustic and fire safety applications for ₹150 crore. The company will be making the new acquisitions through internal accruals only, he said.

“We are almost net zero debt company, we have very strong cash generation to power our growth…our cash position goes to ₹2,500 crore. We don’t need a fusion of equity or to go to parent company for equity, there is sufficient cash for expansion,” he said.

SG is also focused on building on its services in the building and construction segment. “That’s where I think the residential growth rates we see, the commercial spaces and the infrastructure spaces, opportunity for light and sustainable construction, what we call it, and we are focused on lightening the construction…. the opportunity is humongous,” he added. “Low carbon offers are now interesting. A few leading players are willing to pay for sustainable energy. They are willing to pay 5-10% extra for sustainable products. So, we increasingly will provide low carbon solutions.”

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