Japan’s Panasonic to buy Blue Yonder for $6.5b in biggest deal since 2011

Credit: Flickr/Daniele Civello

Panasonic Corp will buy U.S. supply-chain software firm Blue Yonder for 700 billion yen ($6.45 billion), in the Japanese electronics firm’s biggest acquisition since 2011, the Nikkei reported on Monday.

Panasonic, which bought a 20% stake in Blue Yonder for 86 billion yen last year, is in the final stages of acquiring the rest of the stock from shareholders including Blackstone Group Inc, the Nikkei said, without saying where it obtained the information.

“This is not something that has been announced by our company. It is not true that it is something we have decided,” Panasonic said in an emailed statement.

An acquisition would bolster Panasonic‘s supply chain management services as the COVID-19 pandemic focuses the attention of companies on their resilience to disruption.

Better known for its consumer electronics and appliances, Panasonic in recent years has focused more on building parts and supplying services to other businesses, such as batteries for Tesla Inc’s electric cars.

Any deal to acquire all of Blue Yonder would be Panasonic‘s largest since it spent 800 billion yen to make Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works wholly owned subsidiaries in 2011, the Nikkei said.

The acquisition money is likely to come from Panasonic‘s own funds, although loans or other financing may also be considered for the purchase, the report said.

The Japanese company deepened its partnership with Blue Yonder in May, gaining a seat on its board after acquiring a minority stake. The U.S. company uses machine learning to help companies manage supply chains that connect factories to warehouses and retailers.

Blue Yonder counts companies such as Walmart Inc, Starbucks Corp and Unilever PLC among its customers.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.