Panasonic Corp, best known as the battery provider and investor partner for California-based electric carmaker Tesla, is reportedly mulling acquiring a stake in Spanish auto parts producer Ficosa International SA.
According to the people that have knowledge of the Japanese company’s plans, the move is part of a broader strategy for Panasonic to enter the thriving automotive field in search of higher and more stable profits.
The sources said Panasonic is very interested in Ficosa as it mulls joint development of systems with the Spanish supplier. Ficosa has among its products advanced driver assistance systems and safety features, which are highly sought today due to the rising interest for the future automated and connected vehicles.
The persons, speaking on condition of anonymity, back a report from the Nikkei newspaper that claimed the Japanese company would give 20 to 30 billion yen ($183 million-$275 million) for a 50% stake in Ficosa. The Reuters sources pointed out that both companies are still negotiating the size of the stake sale and mull a final agreement by March 2015.
Panasonic has said it aims to further increase annual auto-related businesses to make up at least 50% of its annual sales, reaching a 2 trillion yen figure in the fiscal year of 2019.