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Panasonic Wins Control of Sanyo

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A month after reports surfaced that Panasonic was going to be in taking over electronic giant Sanyo, the deal is done: Panasonic has announced that it has acquired some 50.19 percent of Sanyo in a deal with some ¥403.8 billion, or about $4.6 billion USD. Panasonic’s takeover of Sanyo was assisted by Sanyo’s three largest investors—Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities SMBC, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking—all of whom agreed to sell part of their stake to Panasonic to ensure the company bought up enough shares to have a majority stake.

Panasonic’s interest in Sanyo is largely rooted in the company’s battery business: Sanyo is the world’s largest maker of rechargeable batteries. However, Panasonic is also interested in the company’s solar panel technology as demand for green energy sources increases.

The deal had been in the works for over a year, although Panasonic is now paying considerably less for a controlling stake in Sanyo than it would have in 2008. The takeover was delayed at least in part by regulatory issues: Panasonic is itself a major battery manufacturer, particularly to the car industry. Sanyo has also been struggling financially, recently announcing a ¥37 billion loss for the six months ending September 30, 2009.

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