EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been corrected to change the global sales figure for Harada Industry Co. in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. The correct figure is $258.96 million.
TOKYO -- Harada Industry Co., a Japanese automotive antenna supplier, plans to buy the automotive antenna unit of Nippon Antenna Co. in a deal that would boost Harada's North American business with Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.
The antenna companies signed a letter of intent for the purchase on Dec. 9, Harada said in a statement that day. They aim to finalize an agreement by February. The companies are negotiating a price, Takashi Aoki, Harada's general manager of corporate development, said today.
Harada has a 30 percent share of the North American automotive antenna market, Aoki said. Ford Motor Co. is Harada's second-biggest customer, making up 18 percent of Harada's sales. Its global competitors in auto antennas include Delphi Automotive and Laird.
Harada generates about 45 percent of its global sales in Japan and 33 percent in North America.
The acquisition would give Harada two sales subsidiaries -- one in the United States and one in Britain -- and two manufacturing sites -- one in China and the other the Philippines.
Harada also would gain access to Nippon Antenna's AM/FM shark fin antenna technology.
The deal would boost Harada's sales by a third. The Nippon Antenna business to be acquired booked sales of 6.0 billion yen ($72.4 million) in the fiscal year that ended March 31. Harada had global sales that year of $258.96 million.
Harada aims to increase its business with Honda and Toyota, especially in North America, through the deal, Aoki said. Toyota is Harada's biggest end customer for automotive antennas, making up 23 percent of the supplier's global sales. Honda is one of Harada's smallest, accounting for only 3 percent of its business.
Harada makes hidden antennas, film antennas, roof antennas and in-glass antennas for AM/FM frequencies, mobile phones, digital TVs, satellite radios and global positioning systems.