Panasonic targets green energy buy-outs
By Jonathan Soble in Tokyo
Published: July 29 2010 11:34 | Last updated: July 29 2010 11:34
Panasonic has placed an Y820bn ($9.4bn, €7.2bn, £6bn) bet on the future of green energy by offering to buy out minority shareholders in two subsidiaries specialising in lithium-ion batteries, solar cells and other environmental technology.
The Japanese electronics group, which is seeking to reduce its reliance on more conventional products such as televisions and refrigerators, on Thursday said it would seek to acquire all the shares it does not already own in Sanyo and Panasonic Electric Works.
It currently owns just over 50 per cent of both companies.
The move is part of an effort by Panasonic and by other Japanese electronics manufacturers to carve out new market niches as profit margins shrink in older businesses and foreign competitors, such as Samsungof South Korea, grab market share with lower prices and increasingly high-quality products.
Panasonic spent Y400bn last year to buy control of Sanyo from an investment consortium led by Goldman Sachs, which had bailed out then-struggling Sanyo in 2006…….