Panasonic and Sanyo merger kick-starts consumer electronics consolidation

9 Nov 2008

Consolidation in the consumer electronics industry is underway as Panasonic and Sanyo get to work on a major merger.

Panasonic and Sanyo have already set project teams to work on the logistics of the merging of both consumer tech giants and the boards of directors of both companies met last week to discuss terms.

In some quarters the move is being seen as a signal of slowing consumer demand, while Panasonic – which may pay US$8.8bn to acquire Sanyo’s capital assets – says the deal will bring synergies and allow it to focus on a major growth area of solar power and green technology.

In a statement Sanyo said on Friday: “Gathering together the accumulated technologies and manufacturing knowledge of both companies, we believe that we will evolve to a corporate group which will be highly admired globally by enhancing the quality of life for the people worldwide and coexisting in harmony with the global environment.

“Through this capital and business alliance based on the premise of making Sanyo a subsidiary of Panasonic, we aim to share both companies’ management know-how and business resources while collaborating with each other, thereby creating a global competitive foundation which will maximize corporate values of both Panasonic and Sany and bring benefit for both companies’ shareholders and all other stakeholders, including customers and employees.”

A prime focus of the alliance will be the development of affordable rechargeable battery and solar energy products digital, commercial, device and white goods businesses.

A project team has been put in place to start “intensive discussions” and both companies will disclose how the plan is progressing in December.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years