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Panasonic completes bid for 50.2 percent of Sanyo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp 6752.T said on Thursday it acquired 50.2 percent of Sanyo Electric Co Ltd 6764.T, the world's largest rechargeable battery maker, completing a long-delayed 403.8 billion yen ($4.6 billion) deal.

A man walks past a logo of Japan's Panasonic Corp outside its office in Tokyo May 18, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

The transaction had been widely expected to hand Panasonic a majority stake as Sanyo’s top three shareholders agreed to sell part of their shareholdings into the tender for a premium to ensure that Panasonic obtained more than half of Sanyo.

Panasonic paid 131 yen for each common share, handing a hefty profit to Goldman Sachs GS.N, Daiwa Securities SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, which bought preferred shares priced at 700 yen and convertible to 10 common shares each in 2006.

Daiwa Securities SMBC is a joint venture between Daiwa Securities Group Inc 8601.T and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) 8316.T, while Sumitomo Mitsui Banking is Sanyo's main bank and part of SMFG.

Customers for Sanyo's hybrid car batteries include Honda Motor Co Ltd 7267.T, Ford Motor Co F.N and PSA Peugeot Citroen PEUP.PA, while Panasonic runs a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T to develop and make hybrid and electric car batteries.

Sanyo is also a major manufacturer of solar cells and Panasonic offers fuel cells, enabling the new Panasonic group to offer a wider lineup of energy-producing and energy-storage alternatives to petroleum.

The takeover, delayed by slow regulatory approval, makes Panasonic, which was sitting on cash and cash equivalent of 1.46 trillion yen as of September 30, a dominant player in the fast-growing market for hybrid car batteries.

Prior to the announcement, shares in Sanyo closed up 10.7 percent at 176 yen, in the biggest single-day jump in 6 months, following the closure of the deal the previous day.

Panasonic, maker of Viera flat TVs and Lumix digital cameras, fell 1.9 percent to 1,226 yen. The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 lost 1.4 percent.

($1=88.23 Yen)

Reporting by Mayumi Negishi and Nobuhiro Kubo; Editing by Joseph Radford

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