Panasonic May Acquire Rival Sanyo

Two major Japanese manufacturers of consumer electronics could soon fall under the same umbrella if Panasonic’s plan to buy Sanyo goes through as planned. Both companies announced on Friday that they were entering talks to hammer out the details of an acquisition.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Panasonic’s interest in Sanyo stems from its own stalled growth and the potential that lies in Sanyo’s solar energy and rechargeable battery businesses. “The economic outlook is very unforgiving, and it’s becoming difficult to grow profits,” Panasonic Chief Executive Fumio Otsubo told the paper. “We desperately need another engine of growth.”

Neither company has publicly disclosed dollar values for the deal, but analysts estimate that Sanyo is probably worth about $8.8 billion USD.

If closed, Panasonic would become the largest electronics conglomerate in Japan, according to Reuters, knocking off Hitachi, and standing second to only General Electric on a worldwide scale.