Panasonic to sell Sanyo white goods units to Haier -sources

Reuters

Posted at Jul 28 2011 10:27 AM | Updated as of Jul 28 2011 06:27 PM

TOKYO/BANGALORE, - Panasonic Corp will sell its Sanyo Electric unit's washing machine and refrigerator operations in Japan and Southeast Asia to China's Haier Group Co for about 10 billion yen ($130 million), three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The deal, expected to be sealed as early as Thursday, is part of a plan to overhaul Sanyo's business under a new management structure to be implemented by next January, following Panasonic's acquisition of Sanyo.

Panasonic, aiming to eliminate businesses that overlap with Sanyo, will sell Sanyo's holdings in about 10 units and affiliates that handle development, manufacturing and sales, sources said.

The Nikkei business daily reported earlier that the units to be sold generate annual revenue of about 70 billion yen.

A Panasonic spokesman said the company has been working on a restructuring of its business but nothing had yet been decided on a sale of Sanyo units to Haier.

The Osaka-based company is set to announce its April-June earnings at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT).

The sources told Reuters that the deals will be completed by the end of the current fiscal year to March and that most of the businesses' 2,000 or so employees will be transferred to Haier.

In Japan, the deal will involve a trio of companies, including wholly owned Sanyo washing machine unit Sanyo Aqua and Haier Sanyo Electric Co, a 60-40 refrigerator development joint venture between Haier and Sanyo, the sources said.

Sanyo units in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand will also be sold.

Panasonic's shares were up 0.9 percent at 934 yen in morning trade, compared with a 1.2 percent fall in the benchmark Nikkei average.