Leading automotive supplier Marelli has entered into a strategic partnership with China-based Shanghai Highly. Under the terms of the deal, Marelli has agreed on an equity transfer agreement with Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning (JCH) to acquire an equity interest in Shanghai Highly New Energy Technology (HNET), a joint venture between Highly and JCH. The transaction is estimated to complete by the end of this year.
This investment provides Marelli with greater access to the Chinese market and will facilitate even greater investment in electrification technologies, both of which form a key part of the company’s future growth strategy. As a growing manufacturer of Electric Driven Compressors (EDC) for passenger and commercial vehicles, the collaboration will enable Marelli to strengthen its own EDC business, which is an essential system for electric vehicle thermal solutions.
In addition to the investment in HNET, Marelli and Highly have agreed on a Memorandum of Intent of Cooperation to establish a joint venture, which will be created in order to operate the business currently owned by Marelli for compressors and heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC). The Memorandum is an intention agreement of the transaction, and the definitive final agreement is subject to further negotiation with the aim of signing in January 2020.
Beda Bolzenius, CEO, Marelli, said, “Today’s announcement takes Marelli another step closer to achieving its goal of becoming a globally-diversified tier-one supplier. Highly’s position as a leading manufacturer of compressors for household and commercial air conditioners and EDC for new energy vehicles, combined with Marelli’s reputation for innovation and manufacturing excellence will ensure that this is a collaboration that can deliver complementary growth both within China as well as globally. The partnership will provide exciting new opportunities for employees and through achieving greater synergies, we can deliver even greater value to customers.”
Zheng Jiandong, president of Highly, said, “Highly’s vision is to make the joint venture with Marelli a world-leading supplier of vehicle thermal management system.”