Panasonic Considers acquiring a Stake in Spain's Ficosa International SA
Panasonic Corp is planning to acquire a stake in Ficosa International SA, Spanish auto parts maker as part of its big push into the automotive field as it seeks more stable profits.
Ficosa International’s products include advanced driver assistance systems with safety features such as assisted parking, lane departure warnings and blind spot detection. The sources added that Panasonic is looking at the joint development of such systems. The two sides are working out details including the size of the stake, which would be the first big M&A investment for Panasonic in the automotive field. They aim to reach an agreement by end-March.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Ficosa International has a workforce of over 8,700 people. Recently Ficosa International has focused its research and development on areas such as wireless communication and electronic safety devices.
The Nikkei newspaper said Panasonic is expected to invest $183 million to $275 million (20 billion yen to 30 billion yen) in Ficosa for a near 50 percent holding. The Nikkei added that Panasonic may raise its stake in the future and turn Ficosa into a subsidiary.
Ficosa International said that it is considering various strategies for its automotive business but nothing has yet been decided.
Panasonic which is an Osaka-based company has been restructuring its business to shift its focus away from volatile consumer markets to more reliably profitable industrial products, such as auto-related goods. It supplies batteries for Tesla Motors Inc and in July confirmed it would invest in the U.S. electric carmaker's planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant.
In fiscal year 2019, Panasonic aims to raise its annual auto-related sales by approximately 50 percent to 2 trillion yen.
Shares of Panasonic were up 1.1 percent in line with the broader market, on Thursday morning in Tokyo.