Panasonic Begins Takeover Bid for Sanyo

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Wall Street Journal

Panasonic Corp. will make formal its takeover bid for Sanyo Electric Co., part of a move by Japan’s largest consumer electronics company to transform itself into a green energy powerhouse.

Panasonic said Wednesday it won sufficient assurance from regulators around the world to proceed with the $4.45 billion deal that would give it a strong position in three promising enviro-businesses: solar panels, fuel cells and rechargeable batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.


The move comes as Japanese consumer-electronics makers are struggling to make money on household goods like television sets and DVD players amid intensifying competition from South Korean rivals, prompting the Japanese companies to seek new business lines for growth.

Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo said recently that the energy-related businesses will be the company’s “most important” in the near future. With Panasonic’s tender offer for a majority stake in Sanyo opening Thursday, the smaller company gets a deep-pocketed partner with a smaller battery business. More…