Nissan has sold its battery business to GSR Capital, a Chinese private equity firm.
Nissan said it will first take full control of the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), by acquiring the rest of 49% shares from NEC, to pave the way for the GSR deal.
Nissan has been seeking a buyer for its share of AESC – founded in 2007 to develop advanced lithiumion batteries – since last year.
The deal between Nissan and GSR covers the sale of AESC, as well as Nissan’s battery manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, and its UK Sunderland facility, plus part control of Nissan’s Japanese production facilities in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama.
Hiroto Saikawa, president and CEO of Nissan, said: “This is a winwin for AESC and Nissan. It enables AESC to utilise GSR’s wide networks and proactive investment to expand its customer base and further increase its competitiveness.”
The Chinese buyer has confirmed its plans to “further invest in R&D, expand existing production capacity in the US, the UK and Japan, and also establish facilities in China and Europe”, said Sonny Wu, chairman of GSR Capital.
NEC is also in talks with GSR for the sale of its wholly-owned battery and electrode subsidiary, NEC Energy Devices Ltd., which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.