Business / Corporate

Panasonic to take 50% stake in Spanish auto parts maker Ficosa

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. plans to take a roughly 50 percent stake in auto parts maker Ficosa International S.A. of Spain to bolster its development of advanced vehicle safety systems, a source with knowledge of the deal said Thursday.

The electronics maker will likely spend tens of billions of yen on the purchase, its first major acquisition in the automotive industry, which the company has identified as a key area as it undertakes a strategic shift.

The Spanish supplier possesses advanced automotive mirror technology, regarded as a crucial part of advanced driver assistance systems that many global carmakers have recently been focusing on. Panasonic aims to boost its development of a vehicle safety monitoring system by incorporating vehicle-mounted censors and cameras it has developed itself, the source said.

Panasonic is looking to nearly double its sales of automotive products to ¥2 trillion by fiscal 2018 from ¥1.2 trillion last fiscal year. Of the ¥2 trillion, it expects to generate 10 percent from businesses obtained through mergers and acquisitions.

Ficosa is headquartered in Barcelona and runs operations globally with a workforce of 8,700 people. It posted revenue of ¥130 billion in 2013.