KDDI buys into Toyota to 'deepen relationship'
Telecom has partnership in connected cars with long-term investor
TOKYO -- KDDI bought a 0.24% stake in Toyota Motor during the October-December quarter, the Japanese telecom disclosed in a securities report Thursday, seeking closer ties with an automaker that made an early bet on mobile communications.
Toyota and KDDI formed a partnership last year on communication services for connected cars. KDDI "determined there was a need to deepen our relationship" in view of key collaborative projects, a public relations official said.
KDDI likely paid about 50 billion yen ($448 million at current rates) for around 7.99 million shares bought on the stock market. The company had held no Toyota shares as of March 2016.
The automaker held an 11.39% stake in KDDI as of the end of March, trailing only top shareholder Kyocera. Toyota's capital ties with the telecom date to before the three-way merger that created KDDI in 2000. The automaker was a key investor in two of the group's forerunners, KDD and IDO.