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Our History

Our History

Ecobat is one of the largest recyclers of lead in the world and Europe's largest distributor of batteries

Though the Ecobat name first appeared in 1938 in Italy, some of our smelters were founded as early as the 14th century and continue to operate now, including Muldenhütten Recycling und Umwelttechnik GmbH (now Ecobat Resources Freiberg), the third largest lead smelter in Germany. Our network also includes BSB Recycling GmbH (Ecobat Resources Braubach), based in Braubach, Germany, a primary lead smelter founded in the 17th century. Though rooted deep in history, our companies have been sites of continuous innovation, making Ecobat a technology leader in lead production across multiple centuries.

Today, Ecobat encompasses 26 companies around the globe. Through our own inherent success, as well as strategic acquisitions, we have built a network that powers the world reliably and responsibly.

History of Ecobat Battery

Ecobat Battery, formally Manbat Ltd and before that Manchester Batteries, has been the UK’s largest and most trusted battery supplier for decades. A household name in the aftermarket, its reputation for quality products and good old-fashioned service remains as strong today as it was in 1952 when the business was founded by Harry Pemberton.

Originally named Manchester Batteries, the company first started trading in Abergele, North Wales and remained in the Pemberton family until 2009. During that period the company grew steadily, establishing itself as a business committed to providing its customers with top quality products that are supported by exceptional customer service. In 2009 Roger Pemberton retired as Manbat’s managing director and Steve Sheppard took the helm as the company started a new era under the ownership of the Eco-Bat Technologies group.

In 2009, the then Manbat developed a French operation – Manbat France, serving the influential French marketplace. The organisation has grown and operates with a mix of business and retail markets.

In 2012, a Dutch distributor – Hefra joined the Ecobat group. Hefra joined as a key piece in the European importer network, helping Ecobat Battery attain the top spot as the largest distributor on the continent.

Hefra was founded in 1969 by Henk van Oosten and his partner Frans. It turned out to be a great success. Henk had big plans for the company, and he continued to grow it on his own initially, and then together with the employees that came on board soon after it was founded and who were just as enthusiastic as their director

Ecobat Benelux has grown into a global player, with locations in Rotterdam (head office), Wormerveer, and Antwerp, the company is indispensable in the battery industry.

At the same time, Ecobat grew with the acquisition of several businesses in the industrial and specialist battery sectors. Providing customers with specialist on-site industrial battery advice and a wide choice of industrial power storage products, Ecobat Industrial is a single source for installation, maintenance, and repair. Unparalleled standards of service and premium quality products are the key to Ecobat Industrial's success, and their aim is to provide ‘Expert local service on a truly International basis’.

Ecobat Industrial serve many different sectors in the industrial marketplace including materials handling, floor care equipment and the aerial access industry as well as offering expertise in standby and emergency power supplies.

A broad range of customers includes original equipment manufacturers (OEM), forklift and warehouse equipment dealers and service providers, suppliers and repairers of floor care machinery, access platform companies, hospitals, and public buildings amongst others.

Broadening the business still further, 2020 saw the opening of Ecobat Spain in Valencia, and despite opening during the pandemic, the Spanish operation has shown significant growth and is gaining momentum in the Iberian market.

In 2016, all the businesses were rebranded Ecobat and in 2021, a new exciting brand was announced that brought the Ecobat Battery division in to the Ecobat family with a unified brand.

Also in 2021, Ecobat announced the exciting acquisition of the Belgian industrial battery distributor, Emrol. This provides the company with even greater buying power and further reaching service opportunities.

It is not for nothing that Ecobat Battery is 'the number 1 in Europe'.


Ecobat Battery Technologies, formerly Manbat Ltd and before that Manchester Batteries, is founded.

Ecobat Battery Technologies, formerly Manbat Ltd and before that Manchester Batteries, is founded by Harry Pemberton, in Turnpike Cottages in Abergele, North Wales. Today, the operation is known as Ecobat Battery UK.


The ECOBAT S.R.L. Marcianise, Italy, facility (Ecobat Resources Italy) is founded.


MANBAT (Ecobat Battery UK) introduces Numax to the market.


Roger Pemberton retires as Managing Director of Manbat and Steve Sheppard takes over.


Compass Batteries is purchased by Manbat (Ecobat Battery UK). The NXPE DIVISION of Sondor (Ecobat Resources Cape Town) starts to manufacture Aerothene and Bubble wrap.


Battery Power Systems is acquired by Manbat (Ecobat Battery UK), and along with Compass Batteries, combined to create the Manbat Industrial Division.


HEFRA (Ecobat Battery Netherlands) and AccuCentrale (Ecobat Battery Belgium) join Ecobat.


Manbat (Ecobat Battery UK) acquires Powercell into the Industrial Division. Ecobat acquires Five Star Batteries and Powercell in the UK and Atlantis Metals in Africa.


Manbat U.K, Manbat France and HEFRA rebrand to Ecobat Battery Technologies (now Ecobat Battery).

Sondor establishes national bubble wrap operations, as well as Aerothene to Gauteng. Ecobat acquires South Yorkshire Batteries.


Ecobat becomes the prime UK distributor for Exide.


EMROL joins the Ecobat family.

EMROL - the leading industrial battery company in Belgium joins the Ecobat family.

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To enquire about our range of Battery products and our complete range of offerings, contact the Ecobat Battery product support team.