Japanese innovation holding company takes over
Automaker Nissan Motor Co. and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. are planning to place their respective forklift manufacturing organizations into a new venture in which both companies will be minority stakeholders. The new company, to be called UniCarriers Corporation, will be operated as a subsidiary of Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ) — a government-backed company.
The value of their transaction is unknown. UniCarriers Corp. will begin operations this year, not only producing industrial and construction machinery but also developing new equipment for that market sector, according to a statement.
INCJ is described as a public-private partnership, started two years ago to provide “financial, technological, and management support for next-generation businesses.” It is intended to support those that combine technologies and varied expertise across industries, and foster innovation. INCJ has numerous corporate and some private investors, as well as government backing, and it reports it has available to invest up to approximately $24.6 billion.
To date, INCJ has invested approximately $295 million in 23 projects, ranging from green energy, electronics, IT, and biotechnology, to infrastructure programs like water supply.
Nissan will own 20% and Hitachi Construction will hold 26.7% of UniCarriers, and the controlling 53.5% will be held by INCJ. INCJ will provide working capital of $367 million to the company.
Nissan Forklift Co. has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Nissan, producing roughly 30,000 units/year. Hitachi Construction Machinery manufacturers excavators and wheel loaders, and its TCM Cop. unit also is wholly owned.