NEW YORK – Looking to squash speculation that it is looking to buy Sanyo Electric Co., Panasonic Corp. said that it has not made a decision about a potential purchase.
Japanese electronics maker Panasonic is said to be planning a tender offer for Sanyo, according to a report Sunday by Dow Jones. A price has yet to be set, but Sanyo preferred shareholder Goldman Sachs Group Inc. would be one of the companies to capitalize if such a transaction occurred, the report said.
Earlier in the year, a Japanese newspaper reported that Panasonic and troubled electronics maker Sanyo were considering a major capital tie-up and an eventual future merger. Both companies later denied the report in separate statements.
If Panasonic were to acquire Sanyo, the combined company would rival Hitachi Ltd. as the biggest Japanese electronics maker, posting about 11 trillion yen, or about $111.75 billion, in combined sales in the fiscal year ended March 31. Hitachi's sales were 11.23 trillion yen, or about $114.09 billion, for the fiscal year.
Investment bank Goldman purchased some of Sanyo's preferred stock for 125 billion yen in 2006. Other preferred stockholders include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Daiwa Securities SMBC Co., which combined acquired 300 billion yen in preferred shares. When converted to common stock, the shares are equal to 70 percent of voting rights in Sanyo, valued at about $6.4 billion.
Late last year, Sanyo said it was amending earnings reports dating back to 2000 to record greater losses, inviting calls by regulators to fine the company for several years of accounting irregularities.
Sanyo has been trying to turn itself around after taking a beating from cheaper Asian rivals.
Panasonic was previously known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.
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