Manbat & JCI Confirm Partnership Deal
Manbat, the UK’s leading battery distributor, and Johnson Controls Batteries Ltd (JCI) have announced a revised distribution agreement which takes effect immediately. Both companies have grown their businesses impressively in the last two decades and this formalised distribution agreement follows three years of particularly close cooperation. The contract, which was signed on 15 January 2009, is for an initial three-year term, but with the intention of maintaining the agreement on a rolling basis, reviewed annually.
From the early 2000s, JCI began the process of reducing the number of own label supply contracts it had inherited through its battery manufacturer acquisitions, to concentrate on its own brands and the supply of Original Equipment (OE) batteries for the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors. Manbat was the obvious partner through which to grow the aftermarket supply business for those two sectors for the Varta brand.
JCI has now become the dominant supplier of OE batteries to the European vehicle manufacturers and as part of its long-term development plan, has realigned the pricing of its own brand products and committed to a strategic own label supply arrangement, exclusively through Manbat.
The arrangement has been formalised into the first contact agreement between the two companies and will also fundamentally change the basis of the distribution of the Varta brand.
JCI’s UK warehouses will no longer supply Manbat’s individual branches. Instead, containers will be sent directly to Manbat’s main warehouses from JCI factories in Europe. In turn, with its increased levels of stock, Manbat will supply existing Varta customers through its nationwide distribution network.
Commenting on the deal, Paul Matarewicz, managing director, JCI UK said: “For both parties there are genuine synergies. For JCI it formally secures our relationship with the UK’s leading battery distributor and it delivers a substantial and established own label contract. For Manbat it cements their position as clearly the number one distributor for VARTA and gives them access to high quality products and an excellent supply-line.
Manbat’s managing director, Steve Sheppard agreed: “This enhanced partnership with JCI/Varta is a key component in assisting Manbat to achieve its ambitious growth plan. It is vital that Manbat remains aligned to leading OE manufacturers such as JCI, this will ensure that we are able to bring the very latest technology to the aftermarket through both the VARTA and Numax ranges and continue to operate our business as a true battery specialist rather than just a shifter of boxes.”