Toyota Motor Corp. is leading a consortium of Japanese companies in order to rescue Renesas Electronics to oppose a bid for the chipmaker by the U.S.-based private equity firm KKR, according to the Nikkei business daily last Saturday. This group of automakers have the support of a state-run fund. The Nikkei said that the group aims to invest 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in Renesas to obtain a majority stake in the company before the end of the year. The publication didn’t cite a source. The Nikkei also announced that the group included the government's Innovation Network Corp., Panasonic Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Canon Inc., Fanuc Corp. and auto parts makers Denso Corp. and Keihin Corp.
Denso is an affiliate of Toyota. In addition, KKR is in talks to make an investment of about 100 billion yen in Renesas, which will be its biggest investment in Japan, sources told Reuters last month. This agreement would result to KKR getting over 50% of cash-strapped Renesas. It could also hasten the speed of its restructuring amid declining prices and aggressive overseas competitors.
The rival deal from the Japanese group, which may possibly ask German industrial group Bosch GmbH to join it, would be shown to Renesas shareholders, NEC Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. this October. Toyota has yet to comment on the report. In a statement, Renesas said that the information hasn’t been released yet. As they are customers of Renesas, Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers may be convinced to assist the chipmaker so that their supply chains can be secured, an unknown source told Reuters.