Features
4 Jul 18

No deal for Nissan’s battery manufacturer sales

Nissan has been eying to sell its 51% share in electric battery manufacturer AESC to China’s GSR Capital, a company partially (42%) owned by NEC.

After 3 extensions of the deadline, which was initially set for December 2017, Nissan has now called the deal off, the reason being insufficient funds at buyer side.

Why selling a battery plant?

AESC produces lithium manganese oxide-based battery technology, that, while stable and cheap, delivers lower performance than some other technologies. Panasonic, who were said to be in the running to buy AESC before GSR showed interest, explained that the benefits from buying another manufacturer’s equipment and facilities were limited. Panasonic uses a composition based on nickel, cobalt and aluminium in its lithium batteries which are used in Tesla vehicles.

Analysts are Rakuten Securities also confirmed that the technology used by AESC doesn’t stand out and should therefore not be on the hitlist.

Nissan’s Alliance partner Renault sources its batteries from South-Korean LG Chem.

GSR

GSR is a Chinese venture capitalist that focuses on early stage technology companies. It used to invest in clean energy and electric vehicles, but is now targeting more foreign industrial and emerging tech companies, which includes electric car batteries and pharmaceuticals firms.

The company has been investing significantly in Europe ($500 million in Swedish electric car maker National Electric Vehicle; $4.5 billion joint venture with Turkey’s Zorlu Holding to build a battery assembly plant in Turkey)

A Nissan spokesperson confirmed that the OEM was still planning to move ahead with the sales of its battery-producing subsidiary.

Authored by: Yves Helven