updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu October 11, 2007
Sanyo Sells Off to Kyocera
Sanyo today revealed that it was transferring its cellphone business to Kyocera for an undetermined amount, according to a report by the Kyodo World Service. The Katana maker agreed to offload its handset manufacturing for a yet to be determined amount after suffering a $387 million loss in 2006 due in part to low phone sales. The focus will instead be on batteries and other areas where business is thriving, Sanyo said. No date was given for the deal, although both Kyocera and Sanyo hoped to finalize details by the end of 2007.
The deal will give Kyocera a much greater advantage in North America, where the company's cellphones are often relegated to budget models while Sanyo has enjoyed better success with its Katana models at Sprint. Sanyo's concession also represents the first major change in the Japanese cellphone industry and will give Kyocera a much stronger position against Panasonic, Sharp, and many other Japanese electronics firms that compete exclusively or primarily in Japan. Sanyo's phone business accounted for as much as 10 percent of its income and was worth a significant $2.4 billion as of March this year.