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Japan's Panasonic, Rival Sanyo in Takeover Talks
source: AP

Panasonic and Sanyo, both based in Osaka, central Japan, have historical ties. Sanyo's founder was a brother-in-law of Panasonic's founder Konosuke Matsushita.

Although such ties may not directly affect the outcome of a deal, they could help make for a smoother acquisition because of shared corporate cultures, analysts say.

Sanyo had been seen as a relative loser in Japan's crowded electronics sector until hopes surfaced recently about a Panasonic takeover. After shedding divisions, including its mobile phone business, it finally swung to profit in the fiscal year that ended in March for the first time in four years. Earlier this week, Sanyo reported July-September profit plunged 67 percent to 4.4 billion yen ($44 million).

Sanyo was hurt by a 2007 accounting scandal about falsifying past earnings and reporting a profit when it was in the red. The scandal forced a reshuffle at its top management. Sanyo also suffered from a 2004 earthquake near its chip-making plant.

Panasonic's profit slumped 16 percent to 55.46 billion yen ($596 million) for the July-September quarter, because of a strong yen, declining gadget prices and rising material costs.

But it has fared better than some other Japanese electronics makers amid the financial crisis because it is less dependent on exports to the U.S.

Panasonic shares fell 3.8 percent to 1,528 yen ($15.7). Sanyo edged down 0.5 percent to 203 yen ($2).

The invitation to the news conference came shortly after trading ended in Tokyo, but the issues jumped earlier in the week on Japanese media reports an announcement was imminent.

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