Johnson Controls said to be near deal to sell battery business
October 30, 2018
Johnson Controls International is nearing a deal to sell its power solutions business, which makes car batteries, to Brookfield Asset Management Inc. for $13 billion-$14 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The transaction would be one of the largest leveraged buyouts this year and allow Johnson Controls to focus on its building technologies and solutions business, which makes heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as building access control and fire detection systems.
Brookfield, an investment firm with over $285 billion in assets under management, outbid buyout firm Apollo Global Management in an auction for the power solutions unit, the sources said.
Brookfield and Johnson Controls could finalize the terms of a deal for the unit, whose batteries are used in about a third of cars globally, as early as this week, the sources said, though they noted there was always a chance the negotiations could end unsuccessfully.
The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Brookfield and Apollo declined to comment, while Johnson Controls did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bloomberg News reported earlier that Brookfield was nearing a deal for Johnson Controls' auto battery business, which includes the Varta, Heliar, LTH, MAC, Optima and Delkor brands.
Johnson Controls shares were up 1.3 percent at $31.28 on Monday, giving the company a market capitalization of about $29 billion.
The deal would represent the biggest shakeup at Johnson Controls since its merger in 2016 with Tyco International.