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Self-driving technology is the key to the future of the automotive industry.
Business deals

Japan's Denso to boost stake in chipmaker Renesas to 5%

Autoparts maker pursuing synergies on self-driving technology

NAGOYA, Japan -- Autoparts supplier Denso will raise its stake in Renesas Electronics to 5% from 0.5% to work even more closely with the chipmaker in developing self-driving systems, according to an announcement from Denso on Friday.

The Japanese autoparts maker plans to buy the shares from the state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, Tokyo-based Renesas' leading shareholder, for about 85 billion yen ($795 million).

Last September, Denso set up a new company called Nsitexe to design key semiconductor components enabling automated driving. The autoparts maker is currently developing a next-generation processor that can efficiently analyze large amounts of data from in-vehicle sensors, information that will be used by self-driving systems to make decisions. 

Denso hopes Renesas can start producing in-car microcontrollers based on Nsitexe's designs.

Both Denso and Renesas are key Toyota Motor suppliers. After the deal, Denso and Toyota will own a combined 7.5% of Renesas, more than Hitachi's 5.6% stake or Mitsubishi Electric's 4.5%.

The INCJ's stake will fall to 45.6% from 50.1%. It will remain the chipmaker's leading shareholder and plans to continue supporting the company.

Renesas' main production plant was damaged by the massive earthquake that struck northern Japan in March 2011, causing a major disruption to automotive supply chains. The INCJ took a 69.2% stake in the company as part of a joint plan with Toyota and other companies to aid in its recovery. With Renesas now reliably turning a profit amid the rise in self-driving technology, the INCJ is aiming to sell off its entire stake by March 2025.

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