UPDATE 1-Itochu, Panasonic to merge phone sales units - Nikkei

Wed May 9, 2012 2:56pm EDT

May 10 (Reuters) - Itochu Corp and Panasonic Corp will merge their mobile phone sales units before October to create the third largest mobile phone company in Japan, the Nikkei said.

Itochu will hold less than half of the merged unit, ITC Networks Corp, while Panasonic is expected to hold about 20 percent, the business daily said.

ITC is expected to have sales of about 3 million units after the merger, overtaking its nearest rival ITX Corp, an Olympus Corp group firm, the daily said.

Itochu currently holds about 60 percent stake in ITC. (Reporting by Adithya Venkatesan in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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