Delphi Corp. has sold its entire stake in Akebono Brake Industry Co. of Japan, both sides said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Delphi, based in Troy, Michigan, sold 5.5 million Akebono shares last month, and Akebono bought back 3.5 million for 2.36 billion yen ($US21 million; €17 million), the Japanese brake-maker said.

AP noted that Delphi, spun off from General Motors in 1999, reported a $403 million loss for the first quarter of this year, hurt by falling sales and production cuts at GM.

Toyota Motor acquired 2 million Akebono shares, raising its stake in Akebono from 13.8% to 15.9%, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco told the Associated Press. Akebono is a major brake supplier for Toyota, and Toyota was already Akebono's top shareholder before the latest deal.

"When the opportunity to purchase the shares came along, it was a natural thing to do," Nolasco reportedly said.

A spokeswoman for Delphi's Japanese unit confirmed to AP that Delphi had sold 5.5 million shares in Akebono, 3.5 million to Akebono for $20 million, and 2 million shares to "a third party" it declined to identify.

The spokeswoman, who requested anonymity, reportedly did not give an overall dollar amount but said the sale was part of its financial strategy.

AP added that, earlier this month, Delphi said it had completed the sale of its car-battery business to Johnson Controls for $202.5 million as part of a restructuring plan.

Akebono's business with General Motors accounted for about 8% of its nearly 133 billion yen (US$1.2 billion; euro1 billion) in annual sales. The company, based in Hanyu city, did not have an estimate for its business with Delphi, AP said.

As of the end of March, Delphi's stake had accounted for 5.6% of Akebono shares, the Associated Press added.