Ashok Leyland acquires Nissan’s stake in 3 JVs

Industry:    November, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Hinduja Group’s flagship firm Ashok LeylandBSE 1.56 % said on Friday that it has completed the acquisition of Nissan Motor Co.’s stake in three joint-ventures between the two companies — Ashok Leyland Nissan-Vehicles Ltd, Nissan-Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd, and Nissan-Ashok Leyland Technologies Ltd.

Ashok Leyland and Nissan had announced an arrangement under which Nissan would transfer its ownership in the three units to Ashok Leyland subject to statutory approvals in September. “With all necessary statutory approvals now in place the acquisition was completed for a consolidated consideration of Rs 3 paid by Ashok Leyland for all the shares of the three JVs,” Ashok Leyland said in a statement.

Vinod K Dasari, chief executive officer and managing director, Ashok Leyland, said, “We are very positive on the future of the LCV (light commercial vehicle) business which is growing. While we have acquired 100% ownership of the JVs, we will continue to be associated with Nissan for the technology of the existing Dost, Partner, and Mitr models. These are very important products for us and hold tremendous potential both within and outside India. Our association with Nissan continues in a new relationship.”

Ashok Leyland will continue to build, under a licensing agreement, the Dost, Mitr, and Partner LCVs, which are based on Nissan’s design, engineering, and technology. Servicing and parts availability for customers will be ensured by a technical support arrangement. In addition, the two companies have agreed to continue a deal to procure made-in-India parts for Nissan. The development brings to end months of acrimony  between the two partners. The JV between Ashok Leyland and Nissan had come under strain as key products — Ashok Leyland Stile and Nissan Evalia — failed to make their mark in the market. In 2014-15, Ashok Leyland announced it had made an impairment provision of Rs 214 crore out of a total investment of Rs 509 crore in the three entities.

“Nissan and Ashok Leyland coming together was a good idea. However, there were differences in the way both companies wanted to approach the market and operationalize their strategies. This impacted volumes and culminated in the split,” said VG Ramakrishnan, managing partner at Avanteum Advisors LLP.

Earlier this year, Nissan served a termination notice on Ashok Leyland for the technology joint venture Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies Ltd.

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