Ralston Purina To Auction Off Eveready Battery Division

April 28, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

Ralston Purina Co. (St. Louis) announced recently that it plans to auction off its Eveready OEM rechargeable battery business by the end of the year. The rechargeable battery business recorded a pretax operating loss of $4.7 million in the second quarter ended March 31, 1999. Ralston stated that it took a $35 million after-tax charge in the second quarter associated with the write-down of fixed assets of the business. The company also stated that the move will let the Eveready Battery Co. unit to focus on its Energizer primary battery business, which accounts for more than 80 percent of Eveready sales. The OEM rechargeable business had sales of $64.2 million in the first six months of fiscal 1999, with a pre-tax loss of $9.1 million.