Panasonic plans to sell stake in autos business to Apollo Global funds

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s Panasonic Holdings said on Friday it plans to sell a stake in its automotive systems business to funds managed by U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Apollo affiliate.

Shares of Panasonic surged on the news, ending 5.5% higher in Tokyo trade.

“The parties will continue discussions on an exclusive basis with the intention of finalising the details of the agreement by March 31, 2024,” Panasonic said in a press release.

Panasonic also said it could potentially list the business in the future.

Continued investment in the automotive systems business would be necessary to achieve sustained growth for the company amid a rapid shift to electric cars and changes to vehicle architecture, Panasonic said.

The automotive unit makes cockpit and electronics systems. It is separate from Panasonic’s energy unit that makes batteries for electric vehicles, including those from Tesla.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing)

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