Panasonic in Talks to Buy Sanyo, Would Become Japan's Top Electronics Firm

Paul Lilly

Should Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp. manage to purchase a controlling stake in its smaller rival Sanyo Electric, Panasonic, who is already the world's largest plasma TV maker, could become Japan's biggest electronics firm as well. For that to happen, the company would have to come to an agreement with Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities SMBC, and Sumitomo Misui Banking Corp, all of whom are major shareholders in Sanyo.

The acquisition would put Panasonic ahead of the pack in the global market for rechargeable batteries, a market that is expected to see significant growth amid increased sales in portable electronics and hybrid vehicles.

"This appears to be the kind of deal where you add one and one and get three, instead of two," said Masayoshi Okamoto , head of trading at Jujiya Securities. "Their battery operations would truly be world-class."

Sanyo is currently the world's largest supplier of lithium-ion batteries, ahead of both Sony and Panasonic. The company can also boast being the seventh largest solar cell producer world-wide, another increasingly popular market sector that would benefit Panasonic should the acquisition come to fruition.

Image Credit: Panasonic

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