Founded in 1972 as Lakhanpal National, Matsushita Lakhanpal Battery India Ltd (MLBIL) is a joint venture between Matsushita Electric Industrial Corporation, Japan - makers of the world famous National and Panasonic products and the late D D Lakhanpal. The company commenced production of dry cell batteries, employing aluminium chloride technology. The company's collaborators Matsushita Electric Industrial Corporation and Matsushita Electric Battery, together hold the majority stake of 51% in the company. The company's Novino and Sumo range of batteries enjoy a strong brand image in the large and pencil segments. In early 1989, the company expanded its capacity by setting up another plant at a cost of Rs 16 cr, which went on stream in Aug.'89. It produces UM 3D-Novino Gold penlite batteries, which are virtually 100% leak-proof. In 1993, the company implemented a backward integration project to manufacture battery grade separator paper. To part-finance the cost of an additional production line at Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh, to manufacture hi-tech UM-3D (R-6) type of Novino Gold mercury-free dry cell batteries, the company went public in May '94. The unit at Pithampur commenced production in Feb.'95. In 1995-96, the company commenced production of battery operated gas lighters, as a step towards forward integration. In the same year, it also introduced Panasonic brand alkaline batteries in the market. During 1999-2000, the company has introduced Novino Premium Gold UM-3NE, no mercury added super heavy duty ECO friendly battery. The Technical Assistance Agreement with Matsushita Battery Industial Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan, has been extended for further five years i.e. 31st March 2004. In 2000-2001, the company has entered into an new Technical Assistance Agreement with MBI, Japan to manufacture through SSI units in India - cost efficient and high performance Flashlights/Torches. The Company has become a pioneer by introducing 'No Cadmium added' dry batteries in India.