Caixin
Jul 03, 2018 08:12 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Quick Take: Nissan Nixes Battery Unit Sale After Chinese Buyer ‘Fails to Pay’

Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has canceled a deal potentially worth as much as $1 billion to sell its electric-car battery unit to GSR Capital, saying the Chinese investment firm lacked the funds to close the deal.

The companies had agreed in August that GSR would buy into Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC), a joint venture formed in 2007 between Nissan and Japanese information technology conglomerate NEC Corp.

But the deal was terminated Friday — the deadline to close the deal — as “GSR was not able to have the funds available to fulfill its contractual obligations,” Nissan said in a statement.

GSR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The size of the deal was not disclosed, but it was widely expected to be upwards of $1 billion.

The deal had already experienced a series of delays after the original December closing date. The collapse will now force Nissan — Japan’s second-largest automaker — to find a new buyer.

Beijing-based GSR Capital’s investments mainly focus on high-tech areas such as robots, autonomous driving and new-energy vehicles, according to its website.

The global supply of electric-car batteries has long been dominated by foreign players, such as South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. and Japan’s Panasonic Corp. But some Chinese companies have managed to catch up, with Fujian province-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. now holding the title of the world’s largest battery-maker.

AESC lithium-ion batteries are used in Nissan’s flagship Leaf electric cars.

Contact reporter Mo Yelin (yelinmo@caixin.com)

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