Hitachi Chemical will take control of Italian autoparts group Fiamm’s lead-acid battery business, as the Japanese company aims to gain a European foothold in a growth field.
The two companies announced Monday that Hitachi Chemical will pay roughly 10.2 billion yen ($90.5 million) for a 51% stake in the spun-off automotive and industrial battery operations, with a target closing date of February.
Demand for the rechargeable batteries in environmentally conscious Europe is high, both for cars with engine stop-start systems that have become more widespread amid tightening fuel regulations, and for uninterruptible power-supply systems.
Hitachi Chemical plans to bring its battery-life-extending technology to bear on the newly acquired production. Tapping into Fiamm’s Europe-wide sales network will help it seek a bigger slice of the lead battery market.
Hitachi Chemical has for several years been building up its battery business, treating it as a growth industry comparable to semiconductor and liquid crystal components. The company kicked off this global expansion with the purchase of a Taiwanese manufacturer in 2015, but until now, its outposts have been concentrated in Asia. The European deal marks a step Hitachi Chemical had been eyeing.
Sika AG (Baar, Switzerland) has opened a new plant in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, thus doubling its production capacity for mortar and concrete admixtures in Bolivia. With this new facility in one of the country’s main industrial agglomerations, Sika is positioning itself for continued growth in the dynamic Bolivian construction market.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) (REG) announced on Monday a definitive agreement under which Chevron will acquire the outstanding shares of REG in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.15 billion, or $61.50 per share.
Lotte Chemical Corp. will invest 10 trillion won ($8 billion) on hydrogen and battery materials through 2030 to achieve annual revenue of 50 trillion won and carbon neutrality. The Korean chemical producer on Thursday unveiled its new corporate vision outlining key corporate strategies with focus on growth through hydrogen energy and battery materials businesses.