Nissan found a new buyer for its lithium-ion battery business after the deal with GSR Capital was cancelled.

LEAF Battery Pack Gets Assembled In Tennessee

The battery unit will be acquired by Envision Group, a sustainable energy operator, which just like GSR Capital is a Chinese company.

Under the definitive agreement, Envision will acquire Nissan’s electric battery operations and production facilities:

  • Nissan subsidiary Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC)
  • battery manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, owned by Nissan North America Inc. (NNA)
  • battery manufacturing operations in Sunderland, England, owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (NMUK)
  • Nissan’s Japanese battery development and production engineering operations located in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama
However, there is a catch... Nissan this time will not sell the entire battery business unit, but will retain 25% of it.

We believe Nissan will also continue to purchase 40 kWh battery packs from Envision, while separately it will switch to other suppliers for further versions (60 kWh) and models.

The making of a Nissan LEAF battery in Sunderland, UK (2014)

"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 today announced its approval of the sale of AESC shares to Nissan and the sale of NECED shares to Envision.

Today’s 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. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Under the agreement, Nissan has agreed to retain a 25% share or equity interest in the entity newly formed by Envision."

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 organizations’ 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 realize the value of IoT technology for smart transportation, V2G, and smart city solutions.”

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