Panasonic Finally Buying the Rest of Sanyo

In a deal that has been slowly percolating for years, Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has announced (PDF) it will make a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Sanyo common stock on August 23 at ¥138 per share. Panasonic acquired a controlling stake in Sanyo in late 2009; buying out the remaining common stock puts Sanyo solely in Panasonic’s hands.

Panasonic’s interest in Sanyo primarily surrounds the company’s battery business, rather than its consumer electronics lines, where Panasonic already has in-house products that compete in most categories. However, Sanyo is one of the world’s biggest makers of rechargeable batteries, and is also developing environmentally-friendly solar technologies.

Most industry watchers believe Panasonic made its play for Sanyo in a very smart way, timing its offer one week after Sanyo shares reached a 30-year low. The result is that many of Sanyo’s smaller investors will likely lose money on the deal; however, under Japanese securities laws, if two thirds of the shareholders agree to the buyout—and that includes Panasonic’s existing just-over-50-percent stake—then remaining investors have little choice but to go along.

Panasonic has not announced any plans for Sanyos consumer electronics products or brand.

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