Energizer latest to be linked with SSL bid

Battery group Energizer today became the latest company to be linked to a move for the maker of Durex condoms and Scholl footwear.

Battery group Energizer today became the latest company to be linked to a move for the maker of Durex condoms and Scholl footwear.

The American company is thought to have retained Goldman Sachs as its banker for a possible deal, according to the Financial Mail on Sunday.

Energizer, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of primary batteries and flashlights, is one of a string of bidders said to be circling the group.

Consumer groups Reckitt Benckiser and Johnson & Johnson have been seen as possible bidders after reports said last week that a business practice was carrying out due diligence work on SSL on behalf of a corporate client.

Shares have risen around 12% on the back of the takeover talk.

Analysts put a value of 400p a share – equivalent to £757m (€1bn) – on the UK-based company last year.

Shares closed at 315p on Friday, although this was still below the high for the year of 334p.

Boots, which is considering plans to sell sex toys made by SSL, has also been suggested as a potential candidate.

SSL is focused on its Durex and Scholl brands after selling its antiseptics and surgical gloves business to a management buy-out team.

The company recently said turnover from continuing operations was £203.2 million in the six months to September 30, down slightly on the £203.9m (€286.3m) at the same stage last year. Half-year operating profits rose by 50% to £19m (€26.8m).

Nobody from Energizer was available to comment today.

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