Johnson Controls plans to acquire Delphi Corporation's global automotive battery business for about $US212.5 million.

The deal is expected to lead to Johnson Controls gaining a global long-term contract to supply General Motors with original equipment batteries.

The Delphi battery business has annual revenues of approximately $600 million, and battery operations in over 10 countries, including joint venture interests in China and South Korea.

However, Delphi's US automotive battery manufacturing locations are not included in the deal. Delphi will, under a contract manufacturing arrangement, supply batteries to Johnson Controls from its New Brunswick, New Jersey and Fitzgerald, Georgia plants until the end of 2007.

In a statement, Johnson Controls said the acquisition would let it compete in the rapidly-growing Asian automotive battery market, particularly in China. The business being acquired has a leading position in original equipment batteries in China, and supplies the aftermarket.

"We expect that this acquisition will enable us to extend our technology and grow our business globally, develop a leadership position in Asia, and become the primary supplier of original equipment batteries to the world's largest automaker," said Gregg Sherrill, vice president of Johnson Controls' automotive group - battery.

Johnson Controls expects to complete the deal this coming summer. It is already a leading global provider of automotive batteries, making 80 million a year.