Panasonic finally wins control of Sanyo

The delayed deal will give Panasonic access to Sanyo's battery and solar businesses.

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 percent 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 percent 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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