updated 10:30 am EST, Fri November 7, 2008
Panasonic Buys Sanyo
Panasonic today said it would buy fellow Japanese electronics maker Sanyo. The deal, which is unofficially estimated at a worth of $8.8 billion, will make Panasonic the single largest company of its type in Japan and is described as a move to secure Sanyo's well-known battery business, which includes lithium-ion batteries for cellphones, notebooks, portable media players and other devices as well as its automotive, eneloop, and solar power technology.
Neither company has named the terms of the tentative deal, which would create significant overlap in products and research. Most observers believe Panasonic is likely to scale back, sell or shut down significant components of Sanyo that most closely resemble Panasonic's own business.
A completed deal would heat up competition in Japan, where Panasonic has had to compete with not just Sanyo but also Hitachi, JVC-Victor, Sony, Toshiba and many other firms involved in frequently identical business. It will also have an impact on foreign companies that depend on Sanyo's batteries and devices for their own business.