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Nissan battery unit sale off as Chinese ‘fail to raise funds'

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 12:52 -- John Shepherd
Nissan battery unit sale off as Chinese ‘fail to raise funds'

Nissan has called off the sale of its batteries business to Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital, saying the buyer failed to raise the cash required.

A number of Chinese firms including lithium manufacturer Zhejiang Unifull Industrial Fibre and lead-acid battery maker Camel had said they would join GSR in the reported $1 billion acquisition of Nissan subsidiary Automotive Energy Supply Corp and manufacturing operations in Japan, the UK and US.

However, Nissan said in a Tokyo Stock Exchange filing it was informed by GSR on 29 June 2018— the deadline to close the deal— that the Chinese side did not “have the funds available”.

BEST Battery Briefing understands the deal had already been postponed three times because certain conditions had not been met.

A Nissan spokesperson declined to say whether the company was now open to offers from other organisations and whether it still intended to sell its batteries business.

The spokesperson told BBB: “Regarding our future course of action we can’t really go much further than the content of the filing, other than to say that we are examining our options and determining the best way to proceed. No decisions have been made at this point, and we are not ruling anything out. We will make a filing when there is something to announce.” 

GSR had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.

BBB reported last March that GSR aspired to become a player in European EV battery production with plans for a manufacturing plant in Sweden, on land adjacent to Swedish electric vehicle producer NEVS, in which GSR would also invest $500 million.

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