Business / Corporate

Japan's embattled Pioneer wins shareholder approval for capital injection from new Hong Kong owners

Kyodo

Shareholders of auto electronics-maker Pioneer Corp. approved Friday a capital injection of around ¥102 billion ($930 million) from a Hong Kong-based private equity fund.

The struggling company will become fully owned by Baring Private Equity Asia as early as March, with its shares likely to be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section.

Pioneer hopes to turn its fortunes around by cutting around 3,000 employees, or about 15 percent of the group’s total workforce, while realigning its plants to cut costs.

Five directors will resign from its board but President Koichi Moriya and the outside directors will retain their posts. BPEA will send two executives to the board.

The Tokyo-based firm, whose predecessor was founded in 1938, posted group net losses for fiscal 2016 and 2017 on a slump in its car navigation business, which accounts for some 80 percent of the company’s overall sales. The sector has faced intense competition from smartphones, which are increasingly being used as route finders.

It has shifted its focus to the autonomous driving sector with enhanced development of advanced sensors and geographic software.