TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Corp. said Wednesday it had sold its stake in top Malaysian carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd for 384 million ringgit ($101 million), ending an equity tieup that had lasted two decades.
The sale of its 7.93 percent stake, or 43.564 million shares, to Malaysia's state investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, was completed on Tuesday, a Mitsubishi spokesman said.
He said Japan's biggest trading house profited from the deal but declined to give the amount of the gain. "We have no plan to change our earnings forecast for this business year because of it," he said.
Mitsubishi Corp., a founding member of the Proton project to develop a Malaysian carmaking industry, saw no need to support Proton anymore as the automaker had become capable of doing business, including development, on its own, the spokesman said.
"Even after ending the equity tie, our business relations such as providing car parts will remain unchanged," he added.
A source close to the deal said on Tuesday that Khazanah had bought the stake in Proton from Mitsubishi and that the deal had been brokered by investment bank CIMB Bhd.
Mitsubishi has been a key partner to Proton since its inception in 1983, supplying engines and car designs along with Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which sold its separate 7.93 percent stake last year.
Speculation about the future of Mitsubishi's stake resurfaced in October when Proton struck a deal to assemble Volkswagen AG cars in Malaysia for sale in Southeast Asia.