SA News • Oct. 25, 2014
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Oct. 25, 2014, 5:37 PM
- Funai will reportedly buy the unit's TV business by early next year, Nikkei says.
- The sale is part of an effort to turn around Panasonic's TV ops.
- Sanyo is struggling in North America because of fierce price competition from Chinese rivals.
- Sanyo's annual North America TV sales are about $275M. They account for ~10% of Panasonic's global TV sales in volume.
- Funai sells Philips-brand, Emerson-brand and other LCD TVs in North America through Wal-Mart. North America accounts for 70% of Funai's TV sales.
Oct. 7, 2014, 2:38 AM
- Panasonic's (OTCPK:PCRFY) initial investment in Tesla Motors' battery factory will amount to "tens of billions" of yen, says Chief Executive Kazuhiro Tsuga.
- Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder Elon Musk said in July that he expected Panasonic to contribute 30%-40% of the battery factory’s total cost, which is likely to reach $5B. Tesla will cover about half the amount.
- Tsuga also announced that his company would find it desirable for rates to remain stable, and that the dollar rising as high as ¥120 would be "excessive."
Feb. 26, 2014, 3:30 AM
- Panasonic (PCRFY) is reportedly considering investing in a lithium-ion battery factory that Tesla is planning to build as part of its strategy of making more affordable electric vehicles.
- The "giga" factory would need almost ¥100B ($979M) to construct, and would make lightweight batteries for Tesla as well as for Toyota and other automakers.
- Panasonic is already Tesla's main supplier of batteries and said it wants to expand its collaboration with the U.S. company, although the Japanese firm declined to comment further.
- Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects Panasonic to be a partner in the facility.
- Panasonic's shares jumped 5.3% in Tokyo.
Dec. 31, 2013, 7:52 AM
- There is more confirmation from suppliers in Taiwan that Sony (SNE) and Panasonic (PCRFF) will end plans to mass producing OLED TVs in order to focus on Ultra HD TV products, according to a report from DigiTimes.
- The tech companies couldn't come up with a way to lower costs on the type of TV technology.
- Previous on Sony-Panasonic OLED
Dec. 24, 2013, 1:15 PM
- Citing technical challenges in improving panel durability and lowering production costs, Sony (SNE -1.7%) and Panasonic (PCRFF) are ending an OLED TV panel JV, and will focus on creating 4K/UltraHD LCD panels. OLED materials/technology provider Universal Display (OLED -0.4%) is off moderately.
- Samsung and LG remain committed to creating OLED TV panels and sets; the companies settled a bitter LCD/OLED IP dispute in September, and have independently launched OLED sets. However, their price tags make them a niche product for now.
Dec. 20, 2013, 4:42 AM
- TowerJazz Semiconductor (TSEM) has agreed to create a joint venture with Panasonic to produce chips in a deal that will provide the Israeli company with "$400M of annual profitable revenue."
- TowerJazz will own 51% of the JV and will issue Panasonic (PCRFF) with $8m worth of shares. The Japanese conglomerate will transfer three Japanese factories to the JV as part of a wider restructuring and will buy chips from the new entity for five years.
- TowerJazz aims to now earn Q2 2014 revenue of $225M vs $133M a year earlier, become profitable by Q4 2014, and generate $1B of sales in 2015. (PR)
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:35 AM
- TowerJazz's (TSEM) CEO Russell Ellwanger said of media reports claiming the company would buy 3 chip plants from Panasonic (PCRFY) for ~$100M, "I am not confirming about Panasonic but Panasonic is a very, very good semiconductor company with good technologies."
- Ellwanger noted that TowerJazz is keen to find acquisitions that increase capacity through well-run factories, but that "Any type of acquisition we look at would be a few million dollars of cash or equity but nothing more than that."
- The remarks may simply be the drawing of a line in the sand as TowerJazz negotiates with Panasonic, which has long made its intention to divest large parts of its semi operations clear.
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:15 PM
- In a previously speculated move, Panasonic (PCRFY) will sell 3 semi plants in Japan to Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz, the Nikkei reports. Located in Toyama and Niigata, the plants preform mostly front-end steps like forming circuits on wafers that go into Panasonic products.
- Their enterprise value is estimated at ~$97M, and the plants are in need of capex to remain competitive. The majority of 2.5K workers at the plants will be employed by the new owner.
- Panasonic is in talks to sell chip assembly plants in china, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well, with the semi business having posted a ¥20.5B loss on ¥184B in sales in the last fiscal year. The company's medium-term plan calls for stemming hemorrhaging units by FY2015.
Nov. 20, 2013, 2:40 PM
- Panasonic (PCRFY +1.1%) will halve the number of new compact digital camera models it rolls out in 2014 from this year's level, the Nikkei reports. The company is attempting to shift its focus to automotive systems and housing fixtures as it steps back from its struggling TV and consumer gadget businesses.
- Panasonic expects the digital camera business to report losses for the second year in a row, as global sales fall more than 2M units to 4M, the paper wrote.
Nov. 8, 2013, 3:27 PM
- Panasonic's (PCRFY -0.7%) 4K Toughpad tablet will sell for a whopping $5,999 starting next year, EnGadget reports.
- The device, aimed at "video production, architecture, design, photography and healthcare" professionals, sports a 20", 3,840x2560 pixel ultra hi-def LCD display, packs an Intel Core i5 CPU, lives on battery for a mere 2 hours, and weighs 5.3 lbs. It can reportedly withstand a fall from more than 2 feet.
- Labeling the price tag "premium" is an understatement, given the iPad Air and Surface Pro 2's $499 and $899 respective price points. However, the niche strategy may benefit from buyers who expense the tablet to their employers. In a market glutted with low- to mid-tier offerings, Panasonic's Toughpad has some chance of carving out its own tier.
Oct. 31, 2013, 2:17 PM
- Panasonic (PCRFY +3.8%) pulls the plug on its plasma TV production efforts. Manufacture will end in Dec. in the single remaining factory (2 have already stopped), and all ops will be shuttered by March. R&D will be diverted to OLED tech.
- Panasonic said it came to its decision "due to rapid, drastic changes in the business environment" and price pressure from LCD models.
Oct. 29, 2013, 9:25 AM
- Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASX) is likely to acquire Panasonic's (PCRFY) IC packaging/testing sites overseas, DigiTimes writes citing a local report. The Nikkei reported last week that Panasonic intended to sell of chipmaking plants and halve its workforce.
- Although the report identified ASX as the most likely buyer, a different Nikkei article reported that Panasonic had been in talks with Israeli TowerJazz.
Oct. 23, 2013, 1:46 PM
Sep. 27, 2013, 4:47 AM
- As flagged, KKR (KKR) has agreed to acquire 80% of Panasonic's (PCRFF.OB) healthcare unit in a deal that values that business at ¥165B ($1.67B). The purchase will be KKR's largest in Japan.
- Panasonic Healthcare focuses on three core businesses: In Vitro Diagnostics, Medicom (IT equipment), and Biomedical.
- Panasonic will post a ¥75B extraordinary gain from the deal. (PR)
Sep. 27, 2013, 2:42 AM
- KKR (KKR) is about to make its biggest acquisition in Japan by agreeing to acquire 80% of Panasonic's (PCRFF.OB) healthcare unit for ¥150B ($1.5B), with an announcement expected today.
- KKR received preferential negotiating rights for Panasonic Healthcare, which provides digital medical record systems and equipment that measures blood glucose, following two rounds of bidding in an auction.
Sep. 12, 2013, 8:40 AM
- KKR may finally be about to break into the Japanese deal market in a big way, with the WSJ reporting the P-E giant could team with a government-backed fund to buy Panasonic's (PCRFY.OB, PCRFF.OB) health care unit for about $1.5B.
- The sale of the unit has drawn plenty of interest, but a source says KKR is in the lead after offering the highest price of any of the bidders.
- Japan has been a tough nut to crack for foreign buyout firms, but Shinzo Abe's reform efforts and a reborn stock market have the masters of the universe licking their chops. Should it close the Panasonic deal, it would be KKR's biggest investment in Japan since it opened its doors in the country in 2006.
- A possible roadblock is KKR's potential partner - government-backed investment fund INCJ. The two tried to team up to buy Renesas Electronics last year but it never worked out, and some question whether they can ever align their different investment objectives.
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Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, comprised of over 634 companies. It manufactures and markets a wide range of products under the Panasonic brand to enhance and enrich lifestyles all around the globe.
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