Panasonic finally wins control of Sanyo

Panasonic gained control of Sanyo Electric after a tender offer for its stock successfully closed, the two companies said on Thursday. Panasonic and Sanyo started discussions towards an acquisition more than a year ago but anti-trust concerns in several countries forced delays to the original plan.

The tender offer, which closed Wednesday, resulted in shares equivalent to 50.19% of Sanyo voting rights being offered to Panasonic at a price of ¥131 per common share. The amount of shares tendered was above Panasonic's minimum target of 50.04% of the company so the deal will go ahead.

Sanyo shares closed trading on Thursday at ¥176, which means Panasonic will gain control of Sanyo at a significant discount. The original price was agreed in late 2008 with Sanyo's top three shareholders: Goldman Sachs Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Daiwa Securities SMBC; and the subsequent rise in Sanyo's share price meant few other shareholders tendered their stock.

Panasonic will end up paying around ¥404 billion (US$4.6 billion) for the stake.

Panasonic pushed for the deal to gain access to Sanyo's environmental technologies, particularly its battery and solar-panel know how. Sanyo is Japan's largest battery maker.

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