Eveready Battery May Bid for Firm in India

Article excerpt

Eveready Battery Co. may be among the bidders for Union Carbide Co.'s business in India.

Union Carbide India Ltd. is the largest maker of dry-cell batteries in India. The batteries are sold under the Eveready brand name. Union Carbide owns 50.9 percent of the subsidiary, which also makes flashlights, arc carbons and photo engraver plates.

The business is being sold to set up a hospital for victims of the disastrous Bhopal gas leak a decade ago. Union Carbide, based in Danbury, Conn., transferred its stake in Union Carbide India to a London charitable trust in 1992.

Eveready's parent, Ralston Purina Co., declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal report that Eveready was submitting a joint bid with Bombay-based Wadia Group. In 1986, Ralston bought all of Eveready except the Indian battery business from Union Carbide. Indian authorities froze Union Carbide's Indian assets after the disaster. Eveready has expanded its battery business in a series of overseas acquisitions over the last few years. …