Panasonic to spend at least $4.5 billion to buy Sanyo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp 6752.T said on Friday it would spend at least $4.5 billion to take control of smaller rival Sanyo Electric Co Ltd 6764.T, creating Japan's second-largest electronics maker behind Hitachi Ltd 6501.T.

The logos of Panasonic Corp (top) and Sanyo Electric Co Ltd are seen at a Sofmap electronics store in Tokyo in this November 4, 2008 file photo. Panasonic said on Friday it would spend at least $4.5 billion to take control of smaller rival Sanyo Electric. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Panasonic, the world’s No.1 plasma TV maker, said it would offer 131 yen per Sanyo common share, a 4 percent discount to Friday’s closing price, with the goal of acquiring a majority stake in Sanyo, a top producer of rechargeable batteries.

Major shareholder Goldman Sachs GS.N said it would tender its Sanyo stake to Panasonic.

The decision by Goldman, which had rejected Panasonic’s earlier lower offers, came after the Wall Street firm reported its first quarterly loss since going public.

Goldman, Daiwa Securities SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking hold nearly 430 million of Sanyo’s preferred shares, each of which can be exchanged for 10 common shares when a restriction is lifted in March.

If converted, Goldman and Daiwa Securities SMBC would each hold a 29 percent stake in Sanyo, while Sumitomo Mitsui Banking would hold 12 percent. The combined 70 percent stake would be worth about $6 billion, based on the offer price of 131 yen.

Both Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Daiwa Securities SMBC said they are positively considering tendering their stakes in Sanyo to Panasonic, formerly known as Matsushita Electric.

Panasonic said in a statement it was considering investing about 100 billion yen to create synergy effects between the two firms.

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

Ahead of the announcement, shares in Panasonic closed up 2.9 percent at 1,051 yen, while Sanyo fell 3.6 percent to 136 yen. The Nikkei average .N225 was down 0.9 percent.

Additional reporting by Taiga Uranaka and Yumiko Nishitani; Editing by Edwina Gibbs