Panasonic to launch Sanyo tender offer Thursday: Nikkei

A woman looks at a Panasonic TV set at an electronics shop in Tokyo October 30, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp 6752.T will launch its tender offer for shares of smaller rival Sanyo Electric Co 6764.T as early as Thursday, the Nikkei newspaper said, after the deal won approval from Chinese regulators.

Panasonic’s 400 billion yen ($4.44 billion) plan to take control of Sanyo, the world’s largest maker of rechargeable batteries, had been on hold pending regulatory approval.

European antitrust regulators cleared the deal in September and China followed on Friday, although Beijing stipulated that Panasonic must cut its stake in a joint battery venture with Toyota Motor Corp <72403.

Panasonic’s bid has also won informal consent from U.S. regulators, the Nikkei said on Saturday, meaning that it has cleared all regulatory hurdles.

After the tender offer, Panasonic intends to make Sanyo a subsidiary by the end of this year, the Nikkei said.

No one was available for comment at Panasonic.

The deal would create a powerhouse in the fast-growing market for batteries for hybrid cars.

Reporting by David Dolan, Editing by Dean Yates