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Japanese investments in EU M&A

Panasonic self-driving car technology: Ficosa investment

Panasonic restructures away from TVs and other commodities to automotive parts

by Gerhard Fasol

Panasonic self-driving car technology

As part of the restructuring efforts, Panasonic invests in Spanish car parts maker Ficosa in order to jointly develop Panasonic self-driving car technology.

We have documented in our blogs and reports on Japan’s electronics industry how Japan’s electronics giants lost their global dominating advantages as TVs and other electronics products became commodities, and Japanese electronics makers were blind sided by Apple, Samsung and many other faster innovators. Japanese electronics companies including Panasonic were slow to recognize that their market leading positions were rapidly melting away, and were slow to change.

As part of the restructuring efforts, Panasonic sold several semiconductor fabs to Tower-Jazz, and in a move into car parts, Panasonic invests about US$ 275 million to acquire an approximately 50% stake in the Barcelona based Spanish car parts maker Ficosa International, in order to jointly develop self-driving car technology.

Ficosa had acquired the Sony Barcelona Technology Center

Interestingly, Ficosa had previously in 2010 acquired “SONY Barcelona Tec” SONY Barcelona Technology Center located at Viladecavalls near Barcelona partly alone, and partly in a joint-venture with the infrastructure company Comsa Emte SL.

Japan electronics industries – mono zukuri.

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Categories
Japanese investments in EU M&A

Sony Barcelona Tec factory sold to Ficosa International SA and Comsa Emte SL

Sony Barcelona Tec technology center manufacturing LCD TV sets for Europe sold

Sony Barcelona Tec acquired by Joint Venture between Spanish Companies Ficosa International SA and Comsa Emte SL

Sony Barcelona Tec, the SONY Barcelona Technology Center was established in January 1973, and in August 2010 had about 1100 employees and was manufacturing LCD TVs for the European market. The site area is about 206,000 square meters, is located at Viladecavalls near Barcelona and can be seen here on Google Maps.

With the sale of Sony Barcelona Tec the center is divided into two parts:

  • a manufacturing company whole owned and operated by Ficosa International SA
  • a development and engineering company owned by a joint venture between Ficosa International SA (50%) and Comsa Emte SL (50%).

Ficosa International SA

Ficosa International SA is an automobile parts company founded in 1949 and employing about 6800 people.

Note: in 2014, Panasonic announced to acquire just under 50% of Ficosa for around US$ 275 million.

Comsa Emte SL

Comsa Emte SL is the second largest Spanish company in the engineering and infrastructure sector.

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