Panasonic to become majority owner of Spanish auto parts maker Ficosa

Japan's Panasonic Corp yesterday said that it will become majority owner of Spanish auto parts maker Ficosa International SA in order to speed the development of key technologies for the future like self driving cars.

Panasonic, which acquired a 49-per cent stake in Ficosa in 2015, will buy an additional 20 per cent from main shareholder Ficosa Inversion SL to raise its stake to 69 per cent.

Panasonic did not reveal the financial terms of the transaction, but Ficosa had sales of €1.112 billion in 2015.

Ficosa will become a Global Business Division of Panasonic's AIS Automotive Business. This will make the R&D centre of Ficosa in Viladecavalls (Barcelona, Spain) a technology hub for the alliance in connectivity, e-mobility & Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

Post closing, Ficosa will continue to be led by the current Ficosa management team, with Javier Pujol as CEO.

Ficosa's board of directors will now have seven members representing Panasonic and four members representing the Pujol family.

Founded in 1949 by Josep Maria Pujol and Josep Maria Tarragó, Ficosa develops and manufactures systems and parts for the automotive industry.

The Barcelona-based company employs over 10,000 people and has production centres, engineering centres and commercial offices in 19 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

''Panasonic and Ficosa hold each steadfast management philosophy, so we can expect to benefit from the synergy of further the business partnership between both companies not only in manufacturing electronic mirror systems, but also in developing technology to create a connected car. We will accelerate development by drawing on our respective strengths,'' said, Yoshio Ito, senior managing director at Panasonic.

''Panasonic's support is key to speed up synergies between both companies, consolidate our industrial project and gain the necessary critical mass to lead the transition of the automobile market in vehicle connectivity, autonomous driving, safety systems for increasingly assisted driving and e-mobility,'' said, Javier Pujol, CEO of Ficosa.