Panasonic to buy US software firm Blue Yonder for $7.1b from Blackstone, others

The company logo of Panasonic Corp is seen at CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) JAPAN 2015 in Makuhari, Japan, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino - RTS38NE

In its biggest acquisition in a decade, Panasonic Corp on Friday said it will buy US supply-chain software company Blue Yonder in a deal worth $7.1 billion, to tap growing demand from companies as the COVID pandemic tests their resilience to disruption.

Panasonic, which bought a 20% stake in Blue Yonder for 86 billion yen ($797 million) last year, will acquire the rest of the stock from shareholders including Blackstone Group Inc and New Mountain Capital, in an agreement, including debt, that values Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion, the company said in a press release.

“The need for more intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has been dramatically heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Panasonic said.

Panasonic will use cash for half of the acquisition cost with the remaining covered by a bridge loan that will be refinanced with subordinated bonds and other hybrid finance, it said.

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

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.

The Blue Yonder deal will be Panasonic’s largest acquisition since it spent 800 billion yen to make Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works wholly-owned subsidiaries in 2011.

Reuters

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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.