Nissan Motor Co (>> Nissan Motor Co Ltd) is considering selling its 41 percent stake in auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei Corp (>> Calsonic Kansei Corp) to raise cash for research and development in electric cars and artificial intelligence, the Nikkei newspaper reported.
Nissan, Japan's second-biggest automaker, plans to seek a first round of bids in June, the paper said, without citing its sources. Major foreign parts makers and U.S. and European investment funds appear to be interested in the stake, the Nikkei said.
Based on Calsonic Kansei's market value on Monday, the sale could raise more than 100 billion yen (£632 million).
Shares in Calsonic Kansei fell as much as 7.2 percent in early trade on the report.
Nissan, owned 44 percent by France's Renault SA (>> Renault), said it was considering various options for the parts maker but that nothing had been decided.
"Calsonic Kansei is one of the most important partners for the Renault-Nissan alliance," it said. "We are considering various options that would boost (Calsonic Kansei's) competitiveness."
A Calsonic Kansei spokeswoman said any sale would be Nissan's decision and that the company was not in a position to comment.
Earlier this month, Nissan agreed to buy a 34-percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp (>> MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION) for about $2.2 billion as it seeks to better compete with bigger rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp (>> Toyota Motor Corp) and Volkswagen AG (>> Volkswagen AG).
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates and Joseph Radford)