Asahi Kasei Corp., a Japanese chemicals and fiber maker, agreed to acquire Polypore International Inc. to expand its battery business and boost capacity overseas.

Asahi Kasei will pay $60.50 per share in cash, about 24 percent more than the 20-day average, in a deal that gives Polypore an enterprise value of $3.2 billion, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Polypore said in a statement. Polypore is also selling about $1 billion in assets and liabilities to 3M Co., according to the statement.

The deal by Asahi Kasei follows a flurry in overseas investment by Japanese companies. Japan Post Holdings Co. agreed on Feb. 18 to pay A$6.49 billion ($5 billion) for Australia’s Toll Holdings Ltd. one day after Kintetsu World Express Inc. said it’s buying Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.’s logistics business for 144.2 billion yen ($1.2 billion).

Asahi Kasei has planned to invest 1 trillion yen over five years to boost capacity and expand its battery and materials businesses in China, Thailand, South Korea and the U.S., according to a presentation dated today.

“Environment and energy is an area of strategic focus for us as we expand,” Toshio Asano, Asahi Kasei president, said in the statement.

The Japanese company said it will draw on cash reserves and new bridge loans to pay for the transaction. Asahi Kasei has no plans to issue new stock or bonds for the deal, the company’s chief financial officer, Hideki Kobori, said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Immediately prior to Asahi Kasei’s purchase of Polypore, 3M Co. will acquire the assets of Polypore’s separations media business for about $1 billion. The Japanese company will receive the cash proceeds from sale.

Polypore supplies the world’s three largest carmakers, as well as Tesla Motors Inc. and Panasonic Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised Polypore, while Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. advised Asahi Kasei.

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