Business / Corporate

Hitachi considers selling Hitachi Chemical

JIJI

Hitachi Ltd. is considering selling core subsidiary Hitachi Chemical Co., it was learned Thursday.

According to sources with knowledge of the matter, Hitachi is in contact with several businesses and investment funds to select a buyer of the unit.

The company is set to accelerate the negotiations, and will sell the unit by the end of March next year if an agreement is reached, the sources said.

The electronics giant plans to enhance its profitability mainly by focusing on “internet of things” technologies, as well as electricity and other energy-related operations.

As part of the moves, Hitachi said last December that it will acquire Swiss heavy machinery-maker ABB Ltd.’s power grid business. On Wednesday it announced a plan to buy JR Automation Technologies LLC, a U.S. robotic system integrator.

Meanwhile, Hitachi is speeding up the consolidation of group companies that are unlikely to generate synergies. Based on that policy it has sold Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc., which makes semiconductor-making equipment, and car navigation system maker Clarion.

Hitachi Chemical, in which Hitachi holds around 51 percent ownership, has strengths in lithium-ion battery and semiconductor materials and is one of the world’s major players in those fields. But Hitachi apparently sees little benefit from continuing to hold the unit in light of its growth strategy, the sources said.