Panasonic to sell majority stake in automotive systems unit to US fund

Japan's Panasonic Holdings says it has reached a basic agreement to sell a majority of its stake in an automotive systems unit to a US private equity firm.

The electronics giant is realigning its operations to focus on making batteries for electric vehicles.

Under the deal, funds managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management will acquire a stake in Panasonic Automotive Systems.

Talks are said to be underway to sell a stake of 50 to 80 percent to the US equity firm, with the aim of finalizing an agreement by the end of March next year.

Panasonic Automotive, which produces electronic parts and systems for cars, is wholly owned by Panasonic Holdings. It has a global workforce of around 30,000. Panasonic says it's negotiating with Apollo to retain the jobs.