Panasonic sells 80 pct stake in healthcare unit to KKR - Nikkei

Sept 27 Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:29pm EDT

Sept 27 (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronic company Panasonic Corp said it will sell an 80 percent stake in its healthcare business to U.S. investment firm KKR & Co. LP for about 150 billion yen ($1.52 billion), the Nikkei reported.

Panasonic Healthcare Co, which makes blood-sugar monitoring equipment and electronic medical record-keeping systems, generated sales of 134 billion yen in the year ended March 2013, the business daily said.

The business has been profitable, but has limited potential to expand abroad on its own, Nikkei reported.

Panasonic Corp, which has lost $15 billion over the past two years, is offloading the business to focus on automotive components, appliances, industrial machinery and other fields.

The company plans to retain a 20 percent stake in the healthcare unit, the newspaper reported.

Reuters had reported in March that Panasonic would sell the unit, citing sources..

The company gave KKR preferential negotiating rights this month, potentially marking the fund's largest investment in a Japanese company.

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