The Jakarta Post
Panasonic Corp. has said it will sell all its shares in Sanyo Techno Solutions Tottori Co., the last remaining manufacturing unit of its fully owned Sanyo Electric Co., to investment fund J-Will Partners at the end of March.
Sanyo's business has been shrinking since it became a subsidiary of Panasonic in 2009, and Sanyo Techno Solutions Tottori was the last business unit under its direct control. Sanyo will effectively disappear with this move, which will basically complete its integration with Panasonic.
Panasonic did not disclose the amount to be paid by the investment fund.
Sanyo Techno was the successor of a home electrical appliance manufacturing company that Sanyo set up in 1966.
It manufactured the Infobar, a candy-bar mobile phone, in 2003 when many cellphones were flip models. In 2010, the company produced the Gopan rice bread cooker, which became a hit product.
'It would be best to operate [the company] under an independent partner, to bring out the strengths of Sanyo Techno,' a Panasonic spokesperson said. About 220 Sanyo Techno employees are expected to be maintained.
In 2009, Panasonic acquired more than 50 per cent of the shares in Sanyo, which had fallen into business difficulties. In 2011, Panasonic acquired 100 per cent ownership of Sanyo, its overall investment reaching about 800 billion yen.
Among Sanyo's businesses, which achieved sales of about 2.5 trillion yen at their peak, Panasonic has absorbed the solar power panel and rechargeable batteries businesses, integrating them into its brand.
Panasonic has sold Sanyo assets and businesses that overlapped with its own, including those involving digital cameras and large household appliances.
In February this year, Panasonic sold the building containing Sanyo's headquarters in Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture, to the city government.
Although the number of Sanyo's employees reached about 86,000 in 2009, it has since declined to about 7,000 due to such reasons as early retirement. All remaining employees are scheduled to transfer to Panasonic in April.
Sanyo Electric will maintain its corporate status for the time being and continue providing after-sales services. (***)
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