Panasonic sells third Tokyo property, raises $536 million

TOKYO, March 5 Tue Mar 5, 2013 3:47am EST

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TOKYO, March 5 (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp has sold a central Tokyo building for around 50 billion yen ($536 million) to two Japanese investors, including the buyer of an office block Sony Corp sold last week.

Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, will take a 90 percent stake in the 43-storey high-rise in Tokyo's Shiodome district, while Japanese real estate trust Nippon Building Fund Inc will take a 10 percent interest, Nippon Building Fund said in a statement on Tuesday.

The sale of the building - the third office in the capital it has offloaded in recent months - is another step by Osaka-based Panasonic towards raising 130 billion yen from asset sales to strengthen its finances.

Panasonic will continue working in the building, its Tokyo headquarters, for the next 10 years.

Its rival Sony Corp last week sold a 25-storey office property in Tokyo to Nippon Building Fund and one more investor for 111 billion yen, the largest property transaction in Japan in four years.

Japanese consumer electronics makers are selling assets to bring in cash as they fight to end losses at their flat-panel television units, besieged by competition from South Korean rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

($1 = 93.2700 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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