Panasonic says no decision on Sanyo takeover

Business Materials 3 November 2008 08:51 (UTC +04:00)

Panasonic Corp said nothing has been decided about a potential takeover of rival Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, after sources said the companies had agreed in principle to a deal to create Japan's largest electronics maker, Reuters reported.

Panasonic, the world's largest plasma TV maker, and Sanyo, the No.1 supplier of rechargeable batteries, will likely make an announcement on the agreement soon, three people familiar with the deal told Reuters on Sunday.

Panasonic said on Monday it had not made an announcement about a possible purchase of Sanyo and it had not decided anything in regards to a purchase.

The sources said Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo and Sanyo President Seiichiro Sano met last month and agreed in principle to Sanyo becoming a subsidiary, but that there has not been any agreement on other details such as price.

The sources were speaking on condition of anonymity as the deal is not yet public.

The latest Panasonic comment is in line with what Panasonic spokesman Akira Kadota said on Saturday on the matter.

Reuters and other media had reported Saturday that Panasonic was in talks with Sanyo's top three shareholders -- Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co -- to buy their shares and take control of Sanyo.

Panasonic, which sits on cash and cash equivalent of about $10 billion, and Sanyo would together have revenues of 11.22 trillion yen, according to their forecasts for the year ending March 2009, surpassing projected 10.9 trillion yen at Hitachi Ltd, Japan's top electronics firm in sales.

Daiwa Securities SMBC is a joint venture between Daiwa Securities Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), while Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp is Sanyo's main bank and an SMFG unit.

The three major shareholders combined hold nearly 430 million Sanyo preferred shares, each of which can be exchanged for 10 common shares. That would value them at about 621 billion yen based on Friday's closing price for the common shares and equate to around 70 percent of the company.

The Tokyo financial market is closed on Monday for a public holiday.