Panasonic Corp plans to acquire the shares it does not already own in Sanyo Electric Co and Panasonic Electric Works Co Ltd, four sources with knowledge of the matter said. The deal, which could be worth more than $10 billion, is aimed at strengthening the Japanese electronics maker's grip on the two subsidiaries, which are key to its strategy of shifting its focus to energy and environment-related businesses.
Panasonic Electric Works was untraded amid a rush of buy orders. “The move will be good for Panasonic's long-term strategy, but investors are worried about how many new shares it will issue. We anticipated the deal but thought it would be done by a share swap,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management. Panasonic is considering a public cash offering and share swap to complete the transaction and could make an official announcement of its plans this week, according to the sources, who were not authorised to speak publicly about the deal. It is looking at raising funds to finance the deal, and a new share issue is seen as one option, sources said. Panasonic, which will release quarterly earnings later on Thursday, said nothing had been decided and that it would make an announcement as soon as a decision was reached.