GLENDALE, WIS. (Sept. 2, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Johnson Controls Inc. has reached an agreement with French company Saft Groupe SA to end their battery making joint venture, Johnson Controls-Saft, with the U.S.-based supplier set to buy out Saft and retain control of most of the operations.
JCI, based in Glendale, Wis., announced in May that it was taking steps to end the JV, but Paris-based Saft had said it would fight the move. In a Sept. 2 announcement, the companies said JCI will now pay Saft $145 million to acquire its shares in the venture, which also includes an up-front royalty payment to Saft for some of its lithium-ion battery technology.
The deal is expected to close by the end of September.
Saft will retain a battery plant in Nersac, France, but JCI will take over all other operations, including a new facility now under construction in Holland, Mich., which will produce batteries and packs for the auto industry.
The move will strengthen Johnson Controls' strategic commitment to the battery industry, said Alex Molinari, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
JCI already was a producer of traditional auto batteries in addition to new manufacturing in lithium-ion systems. Lithium-ion batteries use plastics in separator films, cooling systems, connectors and other components.