Failed battery retailer finds a buyer

Battery Plus, a chain of 62 corporate and three franchised stores, was petitioned into receivership owing nearly $8-million to its secured creditors and an estimated $3.6-million to unsecured creditors…The former owner of Battery Plus, Antoine Chahine Badr, has made a motion to have Deloitte and Touche removed as receiver, and that will be argued on Feb. 11.

The Financial Post
January 30, 2002

Failed battery retailer finds a buyer
Hollie Shaw

An investment firm with a stake in the battery manufacturing business has struck a deal to buy insolvent electronics retailer Battery Plus Inc., officials at Covington Capital Corp. confirmed yesterday.

Grant Brown, managing partner at Covington, confirmed that his company and U.S.-based partner
Winner International Corp. have signed an agreement with Deloitte and Touche to buy the ailing chain, which was put into receivership in November.

Toronto-based Covington is the majority owner of Leap Energy and Power Corp., a Canadian battery maker which received much attention last year for an atypical marketing campaign which connected battery power to nature's forces.

Leap, which began to manufacture its line last year, has thus far kept distribution of its products limited, said Grant Brown, managing partner at Covington.

"We think it's a great market and it's underserviced to a certain degree," Mr. Brown said yesterday.

The North American market for alkaline batteries is about US$5-billion, he noted, while the burgeoning market for mobile phone batteries is $6.5-billion a year and growing sales in the double digits.

Battery Plus, a chain of 62 corporate and three franchised stores, was petitioned into receivership owing nearly $8-million to its secured creditors and an estimated $3.6-million to unsecured creditors.

While Mr. Grant would not disclose the value of the deal, industry sources said the rumoured price-tag is $5-million to $6-million.

A judge must still approve the sale at a Feb. 5 hearing.

The former owner of Battery Plus, Antoine Chahine Badr, has made a motion to have Deloitte and
Touche removed as receiver, and that will be argued on Feb. 11.

The motion will not affect the deal with Covington, Deloitte officials said.

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