Mitsubishi Electric to acquire plant from Sharp to boost EV power chip output

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Mitsubishi Electric Corp is pictured at CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) JAPAN 2016 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp said on Thursday it would buy part of a plant in western Japan from Sharp Corp to meet growing demand for power management chips used in electric vehicles (EVs).

The move comes as Mitsubishi’s rivals such as Infineon Technologies AG and ON Semiconductor Corp are boosting production capacity for power management chips, which efficiently control electric power in cars and electronic devices.

Mitsubishi, a major supplier of such chips to Toyota Motor Corp, said it would invest about 20 billion yen ($187 million) to acquire two idled facilities at Sharp’s chip plant and launch production lines there.

The new plant, set to begin operating in November next year, will process wafers for power management chips, Mitsubishi said.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Clarence Fernandez & Simon Cameron-Moore