Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Envision Group (Envision), a sustainable energy operator, for the sale of Nissan’s electric battery operations and production facilities to Envision.
The agreement was signed following the cancellation of an earlier transaction for sale to a third party.
Envision has committed to complete the proposed acquisition of Nissan subsidiary Automotive Energy Supply Corporation and battery manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, owned by Nissan North America Inc. (NNA), and in Sunderland, England, owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (NMUK).
Envision will also acquire Nissan’s Japanese battery development and production engineering operations located in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama.
Yasuhiro Yamauchi, Nissan’s Chief Competitive Officer, said: “We are pleased to have secured a definitive agreement with Envision, a leading global company in the field of sustainable energy. The transaction will enable Nissan to concentrate on developing and producing market-leading electric vehicles, in line with the goals set in our midterm plan Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022. We are confident that Envision will be a strong, long-term owner of the new company and that it will further grow as a battery company with increased competitiveness.”
Lei Zhang, founder and CEO of Envision, said: “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Nissan’s battery business, a leading producer of advanced, safe and reliable lithium-ion batteries. Together with the battery business management team and its highly skilled workforce, this partnership will see Envision expand both organisations’ footprints into the intelligent energy ecosystem to create new innovative solutions for the IoT value chain. With this strategic acquisition and collaboration, we aim to expand our activities via investment into the new company to realise the value of IoT technology for smart transportation, V2G, and smart city solutions.”
The workforce at all facilities covered by the deal will continue to be employed. The headquarters and development centers of the business will remain in Japan.
Nissan will implement the transaction by first taking full control of AESC, founded in 2007 to develop advanced lithium-ion batteries, by acquiring the combined 49% minority holding held by NEC Corporation and its wholly owned electrode development and production subsidiary, NEC Energy Devices, Ltd (NECED).
NEC announced its approval of the sale of AESC shares to Nissan and the sale of NECED shares to Envision.
The announced transaction is subject to normal consultation with staff representative bodies and, pending regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by March 29, 2019.
The transaction is contingent on Nissan purchasing all shares in AESC and Envision concluding purchase of all NECED shares from NEC. Under the agreement, Nissan has agreed to retain a 25% share or equity interest in the entity newly formed by Envision.