Panasonic, Sanyo Merging Into Electronics Dynamo

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2008 8:02 AM CST
Panasonic Corp. President Fumio Ohtsubo, left, and Sanyo Electric Co. President Seiichi Sano shake hands during a news conference in Osaka, western Japan, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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(Newser) – Panasonic has begun a $9 billion takeover of Japanese rival Sanyo, hoping that transforming into one of the world's biggest electronics companies will help it weather the toughest business conditions in a century. Top shareholders, including Goldman Sachs, had been haggling over the price with Panasonic since last month, but settled today on $1.47 a share, reports the AP.

The deal would also allow Panasonic, which makes Viera TVs and Diga Blu-ray disc players, to take advantage of struggling Sanyo's green businesses in solar panels and rechargeable batteries. A stronger Japanese currency, rising raw material costs and declining gadget prices hurt earnings, with Sanyo's quarterly profit shrinking by two thirds year-on-year.