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Panasonic are negotiating to buy LED headlight maker ZKW Group


Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer Panasonic is negotiating with LED headlight maker ZKW Group who is located in Australia recently.


Details of the transaction value have not been open to the public until now. Japanese-language newspaper Nikkei estimated earlier that the LED headlight manufacturer could value 100 billion yen (US $880 million). 


ZKW supplies car LED headlights and lighting modules to US and European automakers, including General Motors and BMW.


Panasonic interest in the Wieselburg-based ZKW, a LED headlight manufacturer, is related to its efforts to expand into the auto led light market, as demands in electronic appliances slows down. The manufacturer has invested in electric car batteries, including for Tesla Motors.


Besides, Panasonic has added more investments into automated cars, a field where automotive LED lights are playing increasing importance in component safety.


In the global automotive lighting market, leading Japanese automotive light manufacturer Koito and French car light maker Valeo have nearly 50% share in the market, while ZKW has only 5% share.


Founded in 1938, ZKW focuses in high-beam LED headlights that reduce glare for oncoming drivers or pedestrians. The company forecasted its revenue would exceed EUR 900 million (US $952 million) by the end of 2016, up from less than EUR 400 million in 2011.


Panasonic targets ZKW for its automotive LED light know-how to integrate with its extensive sensor technology, so the two companies will be working together to develop new automotive LED light products to grab some more market share from Koito and Valeo.


In 2015, The Japanese company already has a 49% stake in Spanish automotive component manufacturer Ficosa International SA to develop electronic mirrors for cars.


Samsung acquired connected automobile solution provide Harman International Industries for US $8 billion, while Siemens and Valeo established a joint venture to develop ic drivers for electrical vehicles (EV).


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