Faurecia will buy majority stake in Clarion, paper says

October 25, 2018 11:38 CET

TOKYO — French supplier Faurecia will buy a majority stake in Japanese car navigation system maker Clarion from Hitachi for around 80 billion yen ($710 million), the Nikkei reported.

The report on Thursday said Hitachi agreed to sell most of its stake to Faurecia, making the French company a majority owner. Hitachi, which owned around 63.6 percent of Clarion shares as of end-March, said it was considering various options but had not made any decision.

The report comes amid a flurry of deals among car components makers, which are trying to keep up with a shift by automakers into new technologies such as autonomous driving, connected cars and electric vehicles.

It also follows several divestitures by Hitachi, which has been shedding non-core operations in recent years to bolster its profitability and focus on its main infrastructure business.

The car navigation business has struggled as more drivers have turned to their smartphones for street directions, prompting Clarion to try expanding into new areas such as autonomous parking.

Clarion, which reported its latest business results on Thursday, said its operating profit for the 6 months through September fell to 1.6 billion yen, down 56 percent from a year earlier.

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