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[TOKYO] Nissan Motor Co is considering selling its 41 per cent stake in auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei Corp to raise cash for research and development in electric cars and artificial intelligence, the Nikkei newspaper reported.
Nissan, Japan's second-biggest automaker, plans to seek a first round of bids in June, the paper said, without citing its sources. Major foreign parts makers and US and European investment funds appear to be interested in the stake, the Nikkei said.
Based on Calsonic Kansei's market value on Monday, the sale could raise more than 100 billion yen (S$1.26 billion).
Shares in Calsonic Kansei fell as much as 7.2 per cent in early trade on the report.
Nissan, owned 44 per cent by France's Renault SA, said it was considering various options for the parts maker but that nothing had been decided.
"Calsonic Kansei is one of the most important partners for the Renault-Nissan alliance," it said. "We are considering various options that would boost (Calsonic Kansei's) competitiveness."
A Calsonic Kansei spokeswoman said any sale would be Nissan's decision and that the company was not in a position to comment.
Earlier this month, Nissan agreed to buy a 34-per cent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp for about US$2.2 billion as it seeks to better compete with bigger rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG.