Battery manufacturer powers growth with significant acquisition

Cell Pack Solutions, a South Tyneside based AMF member which manufactures custom battery packs is fuelling further growth with the acquisition of the battery division of East Anglian based Tracer Power.

Award winning Cell Pack Solutions, which was established over 20 years ago, doubled the size of its business in January 2021 when it bought the Tracer Power Battery Division from Deben Group Industries Ltd and moved its products and operations to South Tyneside.

Within two months Cell Pack Solutions was exporting its Tracer Power products to 10 different countries, and plans to export to every country across Europe within three to four months. It now has a global customer base which expands to over 30 different countries.

Cell Pack Solutions had considered itself a reluctant exporter and with Brexit on the horizon had previously decided to concentrate on the UK market. The acquisition of Tracer Power means Cell Pack Solutions can extend its battery technologies and reach new markets. Its battery portfolio will now include rechargeable Lithium Polymer, Lithium Iron Phosphate and Lithium-Ion Battery Packs for use within the Emergency Services, Security, astronomy, Film & TV and construction industries.

The successful company, which was established on South Tyneside as a one person operation, now operates from a purpose built site in South Shields and employs 28 people, with plans to recruit another five people this summer.

The majority of Cell Pack Solutions’ customers are from the industrial, utility, security and medical sectors throughout the UK, specialising in Primary Lithium, Nickel Metal Hydride and Alkaline battery packs, supplying to a wide range of markets throughout the UK.

Managing Director and founder Eddie Czestochowski will be the special guest at the second in a new series of Business Talks launched by Invest South Tyneside. Eddie will be sharing his unique experiences and knowledge with interviewer Ian Farrar and businesses from around the borough on all issues such as negotiating the acquisition, Brexit, COVID-19 – and even his passion for chess.

The Cell Pack Solutions Business Talk will be followed by an interactive Q&A and will be live streamed from One Trinity Green’s Content Suite at 10am on Friday 14th May through Invest South Tyneside social media accounts.

Eddie Czestochowski said: “The last 12 months in general and the last two months in particular have been a very steep learning curve for me, not least not having had much exporting experience and all the challenges that COVID-19 and Brexit has brought.

“As a business it has made us a lot stronger and we’ve hit all our year end targets and we are positive about the future and expect to see very strong growth on the back of this acquisition.

“I’ve always been a keen networker and the deal came off the back of a Friday afternoon call with someone I’d met at a trade show. Within four weeks the deal had been done and another couple of weeks later we’d moved the division up to South Tyneside.

“Deben were looking to sell off their battery division – for them, even though it was a very successful part of their business , having established the Tracer Brand for over 15 years , it was a small part of their activity  and the team there wanted to concentrate more on its core Hawke Optics business.

“We were a good fit and the deal has been negotiated on trust – the company wanted to sell to someone who would give their customers the same customer service. As two family companies, we shared the same ethos and now our business is we’re looking to grow the Tracer Power brand and expand operations at home and abroad.

“We were lucky because we had the infrastructure in place and we had the space in our purpose built site in South Shields. The process itself has gone really well and the integration has been pretty straightforward.

“These opportunities do not come along often in life. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I am under no illusions that the acquisition has presented huge challenges but I believe that there is no better place to be based than South Tyneside. Over two decades I have been able to seek advice from many of the best company leaders in the borough and beyond through membership of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum.

“This is not the first time that Cell Pack Solutions has grown by acquisition, having bought Bournemouth based Budget Batteries four years ago and it’s probably not the last time. We expect to increase our workforce and strengthen our team across all departments and we are immensely proud to be part of that movement to make the North East a centre of Excellence for battery manufacture within the UK.”

With support from Invest South Tyneside, the sector development and business investment team within South Tyneside Council, Cell Pack Solutions has gone from strength to strength over the last two decades.

AMF Member, Invest South Tyneside team works with businesses starting, re-locating to, or already within South Tyneside; supporting them to achieve growth, create local jobs and develop skills. Key sectors, in particular: Advanced Manufacturing, ICT & Digital, and Business Services.

For more information on AMF member Cell Pack Solutions view its profile here.

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