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Panasonic Buying Up Sanyo?

The Japanese business newspaper Nikkei reports that Panasonic has reached a deal to buy rival company Sanyo, together creating what might be Japan’s largest electronics company. Panasonic—which has just completed transitioning from the corporate name Matsushita—will reportedly keep Sanyo as a brand name, and will maintain most of Sanyo’s employees.

According to Nikkei, a formal announcement is expected November 7, and the deal will have Sanyo rolled into Panasonic by April of 2009. Nikkei did not disclosed where it obtained the information.

Panasonic and Sanyo have been in negotiations for some time, although the details and depths of the talks have been well-guarded secrets. Panasonic is known to be interested in Sanyo’s battery manufacturing operations, as well as enhancing its broader consumer electronics offerings. Combined, the companies revenues would compare with those of Hitachi, which posted over $114 billion in revenue for its most recent fiscal year.