Nissan has sold its battery production to the Chinese energy company Envision Group28. August 2018
One month earlier, the sale of Nissan’s Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC) business to a Chinese financial investor failed to accomplish. Finally, a successful deal was signed with the Chinese energy company Envision Group. For the purchase price no more details were given, insiders speak of about one billion dollars.
The corporate structure of Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC) is complex. Japanese NEC Corporation and its subsidiary, NEC Energy Devices, hold a 49 percent equity minority in AESC. Originally, the company was founded by Nissan and NEC in 2007 to develop and produce lithium-ion batteries. To complete the sale of AESC, Nissan must first buy back all of NEC’s shares. However, following the acquisition by the Chinese Envision Group, they will continue to own 25 percent of the shares. The sale includes production facilities in the US and UK as well as battery development and production technology at three locations in Japan, all the workforce will be taken over as well.
Nissan, on the other hand, has been part of a global strategic alliance of car manufacturers since 1999, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. The batteries for its electric vehicles have been sourced from LG Chem in South Korea by Nissan for some years now and no longer from the subsidiary AESC. For the production of the Chinese model of the Nissan Sylphy electric car, they have also concluded a supply contract with the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before one would part with the battery section AESC. According to a Nissan spokesman, the split will help them to focus on the development and production of electric vehicles.
The purchase makes Envision a major producer of electric vehicle batteries. So far, they have been involved in the manufacturing of wind turbines and the development of software for the energy industry. Leo Zhang, founder and chairman of Envision, said by buying AESC, both companies could further expand their position in the field of smart energy systems.
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